What SHOWstudio Are Looking Forward To: Menswear S/S 22
London Fashion Week: Saturday 12 June - Monday 14 June
London Fashion Week was the first to go digital in June 2020 when the industry was faced with a season of menswear shows at the height of the pandemic, and designers across menswear and womenswear combined under an unofficially co-ed schedule. Embracing digital-only mediums including fashion film and interactives, London has since continued to lead the charge towards fashion's IRL x URL future.
This Spring/Summer 22 menswear season, Turkish womenswear designer Dilara Findikoglu returns to the schedule after a brief hiatus. When we saw her last for A/W 20, Chanel-esque bouclé suits were followed on the runway by Findikoglu's seasonal period corsets, skin-tight leather and suiting, then finished with embellishment and trinkets such as pearl belts which spelt out 'DILARA' - all delivered with a sense of the designer's distinctive ghostly Edwardian glamour. Often presenting in a dramatic and theatrical manner with a helping of unabashed social and political commentary, particularly surrounding women's issues, religion and her own heritage, we can't wait to hear what the designer has to say this season.
On Monday 14 June, fashion's current hottest ticket Priya Ahluwalia will unveil her latest menswear collection. Winner of this year's Queen Elizabeth 11 Award, the designer recently released a capsule with Ganni. Applauded for her sustainable approach to fashion design, with her distinct textiles created from deadstock, Ahluwalia's recent foray into womenswear for her hit collection with the Scandinavian label will have fans of the brand eagle-eyed as to what she does next.
Milan Fashion Week: Friday 18 June - Tuesday 22 June
As always, we'll be holding out for Silvia Venturini Fendi's menswear collection - even more so after the designer picked comedian, presenter and artist Noel Fielding for last season's collaboration - Fielding's vibrant scribbles on a luxe duvet coat had us Brits swallowing our words. Italians know best!
Speaking of those who know best, Mrs Prada has us loving the unimaginable from season to season - after all, she did make ugly chic. Heading into her fourth collection with co-creative director Raf Simons, die-hard fans of both brands will be looking to see how their collective vision for Prada develops after the partnership's most successful and coherent collection yet for A/W 21 womenswear. Having previously hosted post-show question and answer sessions with the public, fashion students and industry figureheads including Marc Jacobs and Derek Blasberg, how Simons and Prada will follow up their A/W 21 menswear offering is yet to be seen. In terms of venue, will the show return to the Fondazione Prada? More likely we'll be thrown digitally into another of set designer Rem Koolhas' tactile creations, which have translated better than any other post-pandemic live stream for a URL audience.
Then comes Glenn Martens at Diesel - remember them? S/S 22 will be the first time the brand, owned by Renzo Rosso's Only The Brave, has shown an on-schedule main line collection since discontinuing the Diesel Black Gold line in 2018. Martens has been on a mission since 2020 to revive the ailing Italian denim brand and make it relevant for contemporary consumers - there's promise after he made French label Y/PROJECT his own, saving it from bankruptcy. He previously collaborated with Diesel on their Red Tag line for S/S 19, where six looks were worn in multiple ways. His approach to design is clever and witty, seen at Y/PROJECT where wardrobe staples are reinvented and one pair of jeans can be styled into a skirt. His first Diesel campaign in 2020 featured models with exaggerated, stretched smiles going about day to day tasks. It spoke to the brand's provocative advertising history; throughout the 1990s and early 2000s, campaigns under the title 'DIESEL FOR SUCCESSFUL LIVING' commented on modern life and the ironies of the social and political issues underlying it, from racism to global warming. Martens told Business of Fashion earlier this year that he's been going through the brand's 40-year archive in preparation for his first on-schedule collection for the brand. 'It’s able to own a place in the fashion world without being luxury', he said. Expect subversion, wit, and everyday dressing turned upside down.
Paris Fashion Week: Tuesday 22 June - Sunday 27 June
It wouldn't be men's fashion week without Kim Jones. The designer's latest collection for Dior will be unveiled on Friday 25 June at 14:30 BST. Last season's ceremonial offering was a favourite here at SHOWstudio, as an exercise in masculine elegance which helped Jones's Dior man to grow out of the hypebeast era Jones played such a central role in creating whilst at Louis Vuitton. Keen on a seasonal artistic collaboration, we're eager to see who Jones picks this season, after previously tapping Daniel Arsham, Kenny Scharf, Amoako Boafo and more. As LVMH's second biggest brand, there's no limits on where Jones can go next.
We also suggest you keep one eye on the boys over at GmbH. This will be Benjamin-Alexander Huseby and Serhat Isik's final collection working solely on their Berlin-based co-ed brand before taking up the mast as Italian label Trussardi. For A/W 21, the pair focused on tailoring and cut, referencing couture shapes as they updated their archetypal shoulder-wrapped silhouette. With the last collection unveiled in a pre-filmed audienceless runway show, whether GmbH choose to return to the series of films they created for S/S 21 this season will depend on the message they wish to convey - they're often directly inspired by Berlin's techno music scene and the close-knit community they built here, together with their Middle Eastern heritage. Nominated for the 2021 ANDAM Grand Prize of €300,000, expectations are high, and GmbH will be setting out to prove themselves this season.
Closing menswear before we jump into couture is Thebe Magugu's stint as guest designer at Pitti Uomo, presenting an exciting new oppurtunity for Magugu, who typically presents lookbooks and thought-provoking films, to expand his world with an IRL presentation.
Throughout, we'll also be inviting our brilliant illustrators to respond to the best shows of the season and hosting a unique take on our seasonal panel discussions in collaboration with Central Saint Martins. This season industry icons and experts including Gareth Wrighton will be joined by graduating students from the CSM Fashion Communication pathways to discuss the key themes which have emerged out of fashion over the past year in relation to the S/S 22 collections.