A grocery-run fit courtesy of Balenciaga.

If you haven’t already noticed, pre-collections are becoming a big deal in menswear. We recently witnessed Louis Vuitton’s first-ever pre-autumn runway show—a 64-look sophomore collection by creative director Pharrell Williams. Dior Men is also set to showcase its Pre-Autumn 2024 collection in Hong Kong next year, having successively travelled the globe to stage runway shows for its pre-collections.

Pre-collection runway shows have typically been a womenswear tradition, and it makes sense given the much more robust womenswear market. But we like new, shiny things too and luxury brands are noticing that we’re just as easily bored by the same assortment in boutiques lasting for a six-month period. The pomp and circumstance of a runway show helps to drum up even more excitement for a collection that’s designed to be a commercial filler before the arrival of the main seasonal collection.

The trick to making sure that you are not simply purchasing something from a pre-collection for the sake of filling up an empty slot in your wardrobe (or your heart; time for therapy, my man) is to gravitate towards pieces that traipse the line between classic and fashion-forward. There’s no point in getting a beefed-up version of something familiar only to shelve it because it’s not one you’d wear for more than a photo op.

From Dior Men to Loewe, here are the things to go for if you want to make smart consumer choices. It’s giving I-love-new-things-but-I’m-curated energy.

Sticker feature

Balenciaga’s push for an oversized everything aesthetic has become part of Demna’s oeuvre ever since he took on the role as creative director of the fashion house. And it’s a look that has been employed throughout the House, from ready-to-wear to couture. This consistency means that any Balenciaga piece could very easily transcend the season because of its timeless design that’s part of an overarching narrative.

For Balenciaga’s Spring 2024 collection, the range is wide with everything from casual separates to more formal albeit avant-garde tailoring. There’s even the now-viral Towel-Skirt—essentially a skirt layer that resembles a towel—in the mix. But it is the cheekily designed denim coordinates that deserve serious attention.

Balenciaga’s cheeky update to denim staples is genius when it comes
to fashion that will transcend seasons.

The Denim Size Sticker jacket and trousers are deliciously baggy but in a way that still retains some semblance of tailoring. You definitely won’t look like you’re drowning in them. They’re also made from washed denim to give that decidedly worn look. The main draw however—and one that gives each piece its name—is the addition of a size sticker (the kind you’d find on mass-produced denims and certain other types of clothing) featured both as a print and an embellishment.

It’s not about displaying the size of your denims to every passerby; it’s about having a smidgen of stupid fun in a piece that you’d easily wear every single day. A good, oversized denim jacket may be hard to find, and these Balenciaga options make the wardrobe staple a bit more interesting.

Crafted mini

The art of craft is central to the design ethos of Jonathan Anderson’s Loewe. Whether that’s done by
exploring the boundaries of the house’s own artisans or collaborating and introducing craftsmanship techniques externally, Loewe’s collaborations are often teeming with the new ideas that still look and feel exclusively Loewe.

Its latest collaborative effort for the season comes in the form of a partnership with Suna Fujita. The Kyoto-based ceramic studio’s work dabbles in interpreting childhood memories and richly imaginative characters and scenes that are then painted onto their ceramic creations. These characters include a menagerie of animals such as pandas, penguins, lemurs, otters and more.

A group of hidden lemurs...
...or a family of shy pandas.

For Loewe, these artworks are translated in a number of ways from glass ornaments to plush fobs to embellishments on knitwear. The easiest to incorporate—and one you’d want to keep for a verylong time—is the collaboration’s take on Loewe’s classic Flamenco clutch.

The Loewe x Suna Fujita Flamenco clutch comes in a mini size in two different variations. From the outside, the Flamenco clutch looks exactly like the original with either the Bottle Green- or Oak-coloured option. The beauty is hidden inside: the former features a family of pandas, while the Oak-coloured version captures a playful scene of a trio of lemurs. The printed motifs are also replicated on the lining of each design for visuals that only the user will be privy to.

Kingly fits

A statement piece you'd want to bust out for every special occasion.
Alexander McQueen's cutting perfection.

There are quite a few things that Alexander McQueen is known for, and one of them is dramatic flair. It’s apparent in every single facet of the brand’s design. Suiting is no mere average affair—the make employs traditional savoir-faire but elevated to perfection with awe-inspiring embellishments and impeccable cuts.

A dragonfly crafted from crystal embroidery is featured prominently on a black wool double-breasted
blazer paired with double-pleated wide-legged trousers—the latter is perfectly cut and a departure from the brand’s proclivity for more fitted bottom silhouettes. For a more pared back alternative, a fitted waistcoat is tastefully decorated with a dragonfly brooch, exuding a contemporary sense of regality.

A khaki-and-nylon combination that plays up the utilitarian aspect of the update.
Classic black is always an elegant option, nylon or not.

In addition to tailoring made for the modern king, Alexander McQueen’s signature Jewelled
Satchel too has been updated. While the jewelled embellishments remain as key elements of accessory-meets-functional-bag, the satchel’s body has been interpreted in nylon with a webbing strap. The Nylon Jewelled Satchel is definitely hardier and less precious in nature as compared to its leather predecessors, but captures a beautiful juxtaposition between utilitarian functionality and luxury. Basically, you can simply wipe moisture right off after an accidental spill.

Life's a costume

Every Kim Jones-directed Dior Men collection is a masterclass in styling. Yes, the foundations of his ready-to-wear collections are meticulously crafted with such refined elegance. But the styling is what pulls everything together and makes every single look desirable.

If you’re already a Dior Men fan, you would probably own a number of the House’s contemporary tailoring, some casual denims, and perhaps a slew of accessories including the classic reworked Saddle bag for men. Level up a few notches with the Dior Men Spring 2024 collection’s selection of costume jewellery.

What sets the costume jewellery apart this pre-collection is the varied selection available. Classics such as the CD Icon series of chains, rings and earrings remain, coming in with bejewelled permutations and lengths. The collection’s more exceptional pieces come in the form of motifs inspired by the Buffalo movement of the ’80s. Adorned with crystals are a variety of star-shaped motifs that capture the rebellious spirit of the movement. The designs are interpreted as brooches, earrings, pendants and even an impressive chain belt that features a combination of different motifs.

The distortion

Gucci’s Pre-Spring 2024 collection wasn’t designed by latest creative director Sabato De Sarno, but rather, by Gucci’s in-house collective of artisans. That, however, doesn’t mean that the collection isn’t without its bright sparks. In fact, the collection’s reimagining of the Horsebit 1955 bag is probably the freshest yet.

A signature refreshed.

The Horsebit 1955 bag is a Gucci classic. Crafted from sturdy leather, it’s boxy and rectangular with a roomy interior and topped with that signature Gucci Horsebit metal adornment positioned front and centre. The Pre-Spring 2024 interpretation skews and distorts the proportions of the original, resulting in a piece that’s spellbindingly odd in the best way possible. See, the thing about the original is that, while it’s a classic shape that’s easily paired with just about anything, there’s very little to be excited about. The reimagining cleverly creates an asymmetric construction that tapers to the side. The genius comes with the attention to detail: the size of the D-ring on the shorter end of the bag’s side is also significantly smaller than its counterpart.

There’s hardly any indication that De Sarno may adopt the design as part of his vision. So if anything, this is one piece to cherish because it probably won’t be reproduced anytime soon.

Weaving in

Not many things are as discreet yet instantly recognisable in fashion as Bottega Veneta’s Intrecciato technique. The weaving of leather strips to form the basis of a range of creations has been the house’s key leitmotif, the attempt to do so by other would often immediately be thought of as a copy.

Haddock lace-ups.
Large Andiamo in Space.
Large Andiamo in Ribbon.
Large Andiamo in Mud.

Creative director Matthieu Blazy’s more modern interpretations of the technique has resulted in a number of pieces that have challenged the limitations of the Intrecciato. For starters, the Andiamo has quickly become one of the House’s icons. Already seen on the fashion-forward Jacob Elordi, the latest iterations of the Andiamo bag focuses on the bag’s genderless quality. The large Andiamo bags now come in new colours ranging from a pale pink shade to a deeper maroon hue that makes for a roomy work bag. It’s a top-handle style that also comes with a knotted crossbody strap for added versatility.

If you’re looking for new footwear additions, then consider the Haddock lace-ups that are the way to go. Rendered in all black, it’s realised in an allover Intrecciato technique that definitely elevates the look of a traditional lace-up. And of course, a pair that really does all the talking without needing to scream.

Fired up

Just like the Gucci Pre-Spring 2024 collection, Louis Vuitton’s was also designed in-house. Meant to be a standalone proposal, the collection is inspired by the bonfire as a universal symbol of unification—where people gather and connect. Hence, the entire collection is plenty of flame-inspired motifs executed using a number of different treatments.

We’re gravitating towards the burnt Monogram motifs apparent in some of the collection’s denim pieces. The Monogram is iconically Louis Vuitton and this interpretation of the motif adds a level of artistry.

Unique denims to covet from Louis Vuitton.

From a denim jacket to bermudas, each piece is handcrafted with a bleach flame effect. In order to achieve this, the denim is embellished with a velvety flock that’s burnt to reveal the allover Monogram motif of the denim. And because the burning is done individually per piece, the results vary and each piece is essentially unique to one another.

1. Necklace, VERSACE

This isn’t the most extravagant necklace by the brand, but considering its size—and it weighs a mere 17g—quite a lot is packed into the pendant. The centrepiece is an elegantly cut turquoise flanked by the brand’s Greca motif and inscribed in the Versace logo type. And of course, in classic Versace gold.

2. Sunglasses, BOTTEGA VENETA

Big, oversized shades hardly go out of style. This pair by Bottega Veneta offers a familiar silhouette in acetate but piles on a trio of clashing elements. The signature green frame is trimmed with gold accents and finished with slightly tinted lenses that lend a ’70s air. It’s time to embrace that Miami Vice vibe perhaps.

3. Vra Vra Vroom, Liquid of Love and Kiss of Bliss eau de parfums, PENHALIGON’S

Penhaligon’s latest Potions and Remedies collection of fragrances is designed with your well-being in mind. Each fragrance is crafted from botanicals that uplift your mood. The flacons themselves are a delight to behold—resembling old-timey potion bottles complete with eye-catching names.

4. McLaren Racing Tennessee Whiskey, JACK DANIEL’S

The irony of a Formula One racing team partnering an alcohol brand is not lost on anyone. The latest is between McLaren Racing and Jack Daniel’s in the form of a limited edition Tennessee Whiskey bottle that represents both brands visually. Celebrate to the max after a win. But never drink and drive, of course.

5. Oiva teapot, MARIMEKKO

A clean, minimalist aesthetic comes to mind when anyone mentions Marimekko. Yet its Oiva teapot is maximalist by Scandinavian standards—a statement piece for any home. The body features a graphic pattern by Maija Louekari, featuring linked irregular dots that clash at points for a subtly disruptive visual.

6. The Amazing Loubi Loafers, CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN X MARVEL

Christian Louboutin makes the most maximalist shoes for men. A collaboration with Marvel sees the Amazing Loubi loafer dressed in patent leather, treated with a starry effect and embellished with gunmetal hardware inspired by Marvel’s Moon Knight character. It also bears the signature red line on the lug sole.

7. Superbusy XS sling bag, BALENCIAGA

How many compartments do you need on a bag? The XS version of its aptly named Superbusy bag offers external compartments across its front, sides and shoulder strap, many with designated purposes, including one specifically for AirPods Pro. It’s proof that you can never have too many compartments.

8. Gloves, MONCLER X ADIDAS

Nothing is too much when it comes to protecting your hands from the winter chill. The Moncler x adidas glove offers optimal defence with a down construction and an inner sock layer that extends up the arm for enhanced grip and insulation. The bright hue makes it perfect for snow activities. You won’t lose this one easily.

9. Vanguard Beach Watch 41mm glass fibre composite case with fabric strap, FRANCK MULLER

It’s hard to ignore Franck Muller’s Vanguard Beach. The Vanguard already packs a punch with its big, bold numerals; but the Vanguard Beach takes it up several notches with a striking design that resembles ripples in the sand. The strap fastens with Velcro for convenience and a carefree beach vibe.

10. Vanilla Flower, CEDRIC GROLET

Known for his trompe-lœil confections, French pâtissier Cedric Grolet has set up shop in Singapore—his first outside Europe. This Vanilla Flower is one of his visually simpler creations, but as its name suggests, packs a quartet of vanilla-infused flavours. Eating it is one truly decadent experience.

Photography: Danial Mirza
Styling: Asri Jasman
Photography Assistant: Chuen Kah Jun
Additional Images: Getty Images

Get ready to hit the slopes

Ahead of the launch of its first-ever skiwear collection, Balenciaga has released a first look into what to expect. With a thorough focus on technical garments using innovative materials for enhanced visibility, insulation, aerodynamism, and protection in snow, the designs are undoubtedly Balenciaga as envisioned by Demna. There are the typical water-repelling treatments on outerwear and accessories as well as in-built ventilation systems. But the Balenciaga skiwear collection also introduces the Alaska Boot—an oversized and stylised version of footwear developed for arctic conditions.

The Balenciaga skiwear collection is scheduled to launch on 15 November 2023.

Dolce&Gabbana's latest global ambassador

NCT's Doyoung.

Doyoung of K-pop group NCT is now officially the global ambassador for Dolce&Gabbana. The announcement comes following his appointment as the brand's first Korea and Japan brand ambassador on 9 May of this year, as well as becoming the face of Dolce&Gabbana's Autumn/Winter 2023 collection for the region.

A star-studded Loewe campaign

Talking about stars, Loewe has amped it up with a host of global faces for its Spring/Summer 2024 pre-collection campaign. Familiar faces who have worked with the brand before as well as attended its shows such as global ambassadors Josh O'Connor and Taeyong, are expectedly part of the campaign. It's the appearance of new faces Dakota Fanning, Greta Lee and fan-favourite of the Harry Potter film franchise Dame Maggie Smith. Lensed by Juergen Teller, the campaign features a host of textural contrasts and Loewe's range of new bag styles.

Another Supreme collab

Supreme is at it again with another collaboration. This time around, the latest Stone Island x Supreme collaboration is a street-ready collection of co-branded pieces including down jackets, hoodies and more. Standouts include a reversible down puffer jacket and a wool-blend bouclé cardigan tagged with the Stone Island insignia right on the sleeve.

The Stone Island x Supreme capsule collection is now available at the Stone Island Marina Bay Sands Flagship.

Football x fashion x design

Coming into its third season, the Inter x Moncler formalwear partnership adds a new level to its partnership. Tapping on the design sensibilities of artist Daniel Arsham, comes a limited edition run of light down jackets. The design is reminiscent of a shirt-jacket style that's popular among off-duty Inter players, crafted of course from Moncler's signature down material and bearing the brand signatures of all three collaborators. And because this is a truly exclusive collaborative piece, it is only available at Moncler’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II boutique in Milan.

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