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Vogue Runway/Filippo Fior/Gorunway.com

The Gender-Bending Footwear of Fashion Week Men’s

Designers in Paris and Milan showed ballet flats, heels, and loafers.

Androgyny was the name of the game at Paris and Milan Fashion Week Men’s. Designers presented gender-fluid collections, and runway after runway saw models donning tights, handbags, dresses, and (slight) heels. Perhaps Rick Owens said it best: “We are herded through that gauntlet of a very specific beauty and aspiration: of a certain kind of sexuality, a certain kind of face shape, a certain kind of body shape—and it’s unattainable.”

 

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Owens’ collection defied all rules of proportion. Picture oversized knits, blankets twisted into capes á la Lenny Kravitz, leather jackets, puffer vests, and inflatable boots that broke the internet. Owens wasn’t the only one pushing back against the norm: Models at Dior and JW Andersen wore tights, Pharrell Williams’ Louis Vuitton was an homage to the Native American cowboy, and Fendi showed kilt-like Bermuda shorts and handbags.

Junya Watanabe x New Balance. This photo and top: Vogue Runway/Filippo Fior/Gorunway.com

Time will tell if androgyny will take among the masses, but these three shoe silhouettes have major potential.

Fashion Week Men’s: Loafers

The reign of the sneaker may finally be waning. During Paris Fashion Week Men’s, Junya Watanabe debuted a collab with New Balance, the 1906R Loafer. With a traditional penny loafer upper on a jogger outsole, the result was more dress than sneaker. Wales Bonner, hot off its collab with Adidas, showed leopard print studded styles. Tasseled patent leather loafers paired with tights and long sweaters at JW Andersen. Isaia presented an array of traditional suede and patent loafers, and the classic horse-bit silhouette was ever present at Gucci.

ISAIA FW24
Isaia FW24

Ballet Flats for Fellas

Dior’s artistic director of menswear, Kim Jones, created an ode to his uncle, Colin Jones, a Royal British Ballet dancer in the 1950s. Models wore brown, black, and white ballet flats with traditional suiting and more boundary-pushing shorts and rompers. Short suits and flats (paired with pink socks) made a statement at Random Identities. And at Lemaire, female models wore ballet flats, while guys sported sleek mules. Oversized pants draped over buttery leather flats at Dries Van Noten, and black patent leather ballet flats wore a red lip kiss at Balmain.

 

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Heeled Boots Give Guys a Boost

At Dsquared2, the aesthetic alternated between rugged and refined. According to show notes: “Sneakers, army and Sasquatch boots make way for slightly heeled men’s boots, and high heeled delicate ankle strap pumps for women—both styles elongating the leg and accentuating elegance.” Puffy boots had a slight platform at Acne Studios, models at Louis Vuitton had the traditional cowboy heel, and Rick Owens took things to new heights, literally.

Dsquared2 FW24

The June 2024 Issue

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