Absolutely massive shoes
The adidas Samba was the subject of many a think-piece last year, unofficially crowned “trainer of the year”. Unsurprising, since many of 2023’s trends harked back to the slick, logo-less, post-modern styles of the ’90s (and blokecore). It was an antidote to years of trainers packing on the pounds: New Balance’s “dad trainers”, Martine Rose’s Nike Air Monarch IV and, the style that arguably started it all, Balenciaga’s Triple S.
But if you thought fashion had long moved on, think again. Balenciaga once again upped the ante at its Los Angeles show last December, where it presented the aptly-titled 10XL Sneaker, taking everything we thought we know about chunky soles to new heights – literally.
Fashion comes undone
If last year was about luxe, clean lines and cotch roll-necks, all signs point to 2024 being the year we come back down to reality. When Jane Birkin died last July, photos of her were rapidly reshared by fans, but the one that stuck out was of her carrying a beaten-up Hermès Birkin bag with a sticker plastered over it and keychains attached, overspilling with books, folders and other crap that was delectably irreverent in its misuse.
Miu Miu’s SS24 collection was similarly dishevelled: beach shorts were hurriedly styled with blazers, plasters were proudly stuck around toes, hair was wet and wild, and leather bags were crammed with the remnants of a day at the office. Then for GQ’s November 2023 issue, Kim Kardashian, the poster girl of sleek polish, dipped her manicured hand into a bag of Cheetos. Tuck in. Or out, actually.
The Y2K party is over
Fashion loves a throwback. Pretty much every trend from every decade has been given a re-hash for a new generation, from ’60s shift dresses to ’80s neon. But when that rebooted era has endured for as long as the Y2K trend has over the past few years, it’s time to give it the final boot in the Juicy rear. The never-ending revival spiral that’s seen us swoon over forgotten brands, Dior Saddle bags and Paris Hilton references will die a long overdue death in 2024. The party’s over. Go home.
Following in the footsteps of those big shoes, this could also be the year we take proportions to extreme heights. Master provocateur Jonathan Anderson brought new meaning to high-waisted trews in Loewe’s SS24 show, with a pair that reached the chest and elongated the lower half to mind-altering lengths. Elsewhere, he zoomed in on cable knits for an all-consuming take on a cardigan and, over at his namesake label, JW Anderson, he blew out bomber jackets, following Prada’s XXL jackets from in its AW23 menswear. Size matters.
If it suits you
If scruffy blokecore was the dominating style for young men in 2023, this year could usher in a smarter, more refined take on everyday garb. We’re talking suits. Our prediction is that after the hazy smoke of fags, booze and pseudo-’90s hedonism wafts out for the new year, the modern tailoring of emerging designers such as Aaron Esh and Luke Derrick, plus Hedi Slimane’s Celine and Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent, will replace baggy jeans and football tops for likely lads. Don’t fret, though – suits aren’t only about looking posh. Style it right and you could finally crack the code for smart-casual.
Pants leave the bedroom
While Loewe is making a case for covering up our lower halves, last year saw pants taken out of the bedroom and thrusted into the public eye. Phoebe Philo dropped a pair of studded pants in November, Willy Chavarria had his models wear stuffed briefs at his show in New York in September, Emma Corrin closed Miu Miu’s AW23 show wearing sequin knickers a few months earlier in March and Kendall Jenner smelled the sunflowers in nothing but a pair of big pants. This could be the year that underwear-as-outerwear gets serious, eschewing the typical lacy babydoll dresses for a style that is altogether kinkier. Let us know how you get on during the morning commute.
Business as usual
In the year of the general election, our top-halves could get a little more serious. Hey, if they won’t, we will. Blazers were all over the runways for SS24 and, like the menswear suits we’ve seen, the modern iterations of the classic style are anything but banker bro. Miu Miu took cues from the classroom, Maison Margiela twisted its take by gathering fabric around the waist, while Loewe went for a hazy gingham print. Fix up, look sharp.
With trends, TikTok aesthetics, “cores” and #lewks reaching fever pitch over the past few years, perhaps this is the year we give up on it altogether. Eschew the trends, sack off the shops, wear what we want and live in perfect harmony. You want to dress like a Tudor for the foreseeable? Go for it, friend.