Jacket, trousers, Maxi Dior Oblique Weekender 40 bag and B30 sneakers, DIOR MEN

In 1967, Marc Bohan conceptualised the Dior Oblique motif. The longtime creative director of the House (an almost 30-year tenure) first applied the motif on a bag from Dior’s haute couture collection in 1969. Throughout the years, the Dior Oblique has been applied on all manner of pieces by the House— from ready-to-wear to luggage to even the floors of its Dior Monsieur boutique in 1974.

Fast forward to today, the Dior Oblique remains one of Dior’s most quintessential elements. It’s become a mark of the House’s creativity with a range of treatments and interpretations imagined every now and then. The latest, is perhaps one that captures Monsieur Dior’s nonconformist spirit.

The Maxi Dior Oblique revokes any decree that branded logos and motifs are dead. As its name suggests, the Dior Oblique has been blown up like never before for Dior Men’s Spring 2024 collection. Each letter of the motif now takes significant real estate on a range of travel-ready bags and accessories. The collection’s Weekender 40 bag, for example, looks exceptionally roomier with the Maxi Dior Oblique canvas construction giving the illusion of a magnified proportion.

While the Maxi Dior Oblique may look audacious in its original colourway—there’s certainly no mistaking that it’s a Dior—a second all-black option provides a more subtle interpretation but one that’s impactful all the same. The Maxi Dior Oblique is rendered in black and set against a base that’s a couple of shades lighter. When employed on a pair of high-top B23 sneakers, the canvas adds depth and dimension. The motif may not be immediately obvious at first glance, but becomes apparent at multiple angles and in motion.

Jacket, trousers, and Maxi Dior Oblique B23 high-top sneakers, DIOR MEN

But the point of the Maxi Dior Oblique isn’t solely for the brash visual of Dior’s signature. It’s an extension of the Dior attitude—of going against the grain and challenging perceptions. After all, this is the same House that proposed a “new look” that further feminised women’s fashion post-World War II.

What’s the inverse of “quiet luxury”? This is it.

The new Saddle Boxy. Photo by Jackie Nickerson

When a design is as revered as the Dior Saddle, any attempts at refreshing its look could be potentially contentious. But Dior Men artistic director Kim Jones is not one to stay on the side of convention. After all, this is the man who has been tapping into the House’s more feminine-centric haute couture history to build and expand its menswear universe. And with the Dior Saddle, Jones continues to revisit the fundamentals of its design and to transmute them into inspired accessories.

The Dior Saddle bag was first conceived more than two decades ago by former artistic director John Galliano. It’s essentially a shoulder purse, meant to be worn tight right in the armpit with its short top handle sitting on one’s—typically a woman’s—shoulder. It wasn’t until Jones’ debut collection for Dior Men that the bag was officially de-genderised. The top handle strap was replaced by a more industrial-looking adjustable one that adapts for crossbody wear and differentiated from its women’s counterpart by a Matthew M. Williams-designed buckle.

If the Saddle bag designed for men captures a more defiant spirit from the original, the latest inspired creation refines the look further. For the Dior Men winter 2023 collection, Jones opts to pay tribute to the elegance of the equestrian world—the origins of the Saddle bag.

The Dior Saddle Boxy bag looks more simplified from the outside. The leather tails attached to the magnetic flap of the original have been removed altogether for a more graphic focus on the curved lines of the bag. With this new iteration, what you’re getting is pretty much a storage upgrade—the Dior Saddle Boxy features an extended body acting as the main compartment topped with a zipper. The original Dior Saddle silhouette then becomes the bag’s smaller front compartment. The dimensions of the Dior Saddle Boxy are about the same as the Dior Saddle but now divided into two compartments for better organisation.

Another iteration of the Saddle Boxy. Photo by Jackie Nickerson

Instead of grained calfskin, the Dior Saddle Boxy is dressed in the house’s new Dior Oblique Gravity leather. Not only is the entire body embossed with the signature Dior Oblique motif, it’s also done in a cloudy effect that is further emphasised through the patent treatment. The straps—a top handle as well as an adjustable shoulder strap that are both detachable—have too been refined. They’re cut from leather and are intentionally thin in width to reflect the more elegant profile.

Regard this latest take as the more grown up, elevated version—one you could easily pair with a suit without feeling as though you’re making the entire outfit a touch more casual. The look of the Dior Saddle Boxy may be a slight departure from the original, yet the functionality and versatility remain. And that’s exactly how you rework an icon.

The Dior Saddle Boxy is now available in boutiques and online.

Taehyung (or V) from BTS with a Celine Triomphe Canvas Medium Voyage bag printed with his name.

The way that monograms have become such a huge part of luxury fashion is a testament to their enduring power. We may be moving towards monogram-lite fashion these days (cue all the slew of TikToks on quiet luxury) but monograms remain perennial brand identifiers. In the past few years, brands the likes of Versace, Balmain and Burberry introduced new ones—the latter initiated by former chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci.

One of creative, artistic and image director Hedi Slimane’s first undertakings at Celine was reviving its monogram.

The Triomphe Canvas was officially introduced as part of Celine’s autumn 2019 collection yet its origins date back to the '70s. Its name comes from the chains surrounding Paris’ Arc de Triomphe. The story goes that after a minor collision on Place de l’Étoile (now Place Charles de Gaulle) involving Celine founder Céline Vipiana, she stepped out of her vehicle and noticed the mirrored Cs embedded as part of the metal chains surrounding the monument. Co-opting the motif for her own, she applied it on a range of bags, accessories as well as ready-to-wear.

Slimane took this further with the Triomphe Canvas. The lightweight construction of a Triomphe Canvas piece—a canvas body trimmed with leather—makes one primed for anyone constantly on the move. Its durability is on par with Celine's leather offerings, but less precious in some ways that makes it better withstand some better over prolonged use. The leather on the Triomphe Canvas is poised to age and patina beautifully over time, while the canvas body takes on a bit more character with scuffs.

Taehyung with the Celine Triomphe Canvas Cylinder bag.

That's the appeal of the Slimane-era Triomphe Canvas. The monogram already feels timeless with each piece of the collection meticulously constructed to exude a vintage allure. Not only does this give the appearance of a vintage find, but it also paves the way for the legacy of the monogram in the vintage market. Fast forward a decade, and we're almost certain that you'd be able to find Triomphe Canvas pieces in vintage stores the world over.

The fact that it has only been less than five years since Slimane reintroduced the Triomphe Canvas, yet it's become so synonymous with the house speaks to its distinctive markings. In its classic tan colourway, the Triomphe motif is subtle; lighter colourways offer a more striking appearance of the motif. And of course, seasonal interpretations take on various forms and even artistic expressions.

Triomphe Canvas Medium Voyage bag in tan and ecru, CELINE
Triomphe Canvas Messenger Box in black, CELINE
Triomphe Canvas Cabas with buckle in tan and ecru, CELINE
Triomphe Canvas Cabas with buckle in black, CELINE
Triomphe Canvas Medium Voyage bag in tan, CELINE
Triomphe Canvas Cylinder bag in tan, CELINE

But no matter what you'd gravitate towards, it's bound to be one that you'd surprisingly find more use out of than you'd think.

Photo by Louis Vuitton

We're still in somewhat of a limbo with Louis Vuitton's menswear division. Pharrell Williams' first collection as creative director already made its debut during this past Paris Fashion Week Men's. But the collection will only be available in boutiques for the spring/summer 2024 season.

Of course, Louis Vuitton isn't halting any semblance of newness while that happens.

Photo by Louis Vuitton

The Taurillon Monogram and Monogram Macassar collections—both featuring the maison's Monogram pattern—have been refreshed with colours that reflect the sense of vibrant energy typical of the season. Icons the likes of the Christopher backpack, Sac Plat mini as well as the Keepall 25 take on new iterations while retaining the unbridled spirit of travel that's at the heart of Louis Vuitton.

The all-leather Taurillon Monogram gets an electric blue makeover (referred to as Racing Blue) with a more muted colourway in the form of Mineral Gray. The hardware on each are done in contrasting tones with the Racing Blue iterations fitted with matte black hardware, while the latter features palladium silver hardware. The treatment is available on a slew of bags and small accessories; it's exceptionally stunning on the collection's bigger pieces such as the Horizon rolling luggage.

Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton

The Monogram Macassar on the other hand, keeps things a bit more traditional. Pops of Radiant Sun yellow leather add bold freshness, complementing the Monogram canvas base. On a number of accessories, they appear on handles as well as trims along the sides; on pieces like the Christopher backpack, they act as accents on straps and such.

Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton
Photo by Louis Vuitton

What's interesting is that these new iterations of the Taurillon Monogram and the Monogram Macassar could very well be part of Williams' debut collection. Aesthetically, there's already the vibrant hues that were a big part of the runway show (and its Rihanna-fronted campaign) and done in such a way that stays true to the classic Louis Vuitton Monogram. And you can never go wrong with the staple Monogram anyway.

Photo by Louis Vuitton

The latest variations of the Taurillon Monogram and Monogram Macassar are now available in Louis Vuitton boutiques as well as online.

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