There’s no mistaking the distinct Cannage pattern on the Dior Charm bag introduced in Dior Men’s Summer 2024 collection where the motif is renewed in various fashion.

The answer: seemingly limitless. The Dior Men Charm bag is the latest of artistic director Kim Jones’ contemporary take on Dior’s storied heritage.

Familiar motifs have taken on new forms before. We saw how Jones supercharged renewed interest in the classic Saddle bag by reimagining it with a Matthew M Williams-designed buckle. Jones also introduced sneakers into the house’s design vocabulary by featuring either the Dior Oblique or in the case of the B30, a streamlined, sporty CD logo. This time, Jones has taken things up a few notches by combining two.

For a start, the Dior Charm bag features a clasp adapted from the hardware of the iconic Lady Dior in the house’s women’s universe. While the original motif consists of connected letters, D, I, O and R (of course), as mobile charms in a calculated arrangement, the Dior Charm of the men’s universe is rendered as a single plaque fashioned from the same characters, with the ‘O’ as the base. It sports an antique silver finish for a grittier look that distinguishes itself from that of the Lady Dior.

Dior Charm Crossbody bag, DIOR MEN
(JACKIE NICKERSON)

But the immediate defining characteristic of the Dior Charm bag is the Cannage motif that completely envelopes the piece. The Cannage Cosmo leather—first introduced by Jones in Summer 2023—is a slightly blown-up version of the original Cannage and translated as a whole laser-cut cage stitched onto smooth calfskin. A true testament to the skills of the Dior artisans, the topstitching is thoroughly precise and serves to enhance the encasement of the motif. In the Dior Charm’s grey and black iterations, they’re subtle and sleek; the Cannage is decidedly bold in the cognac colourway, especially against the antique silver-finish hardware.

Jones is no stranger to referencing the house’s women’s universe and transmuting these references into what would later become key motifs of Dior Men. The Dior Charm is one of those once-in-a-lifetime lightbulb moments that seem so obvious now that it’s been realised. Having it as part of a new bag like the aptly named Dior Charm bag and then combining it with an equally iconic motif like the Cannage (but once again, reworked) is genius.

(JACKIE NICKERSON)

The past is often revisited in luxury fashion, especially when a great deal of history and heritage are involved. But sometimes, the past whispers fresh ideas, and Jones is the reigning master of listening to them.

Harrington jacket, DIOR MEN
(ALFREDO PIOLA)

Artistic director Kim Jones’ continuous delving into the Dior archives has resulted in a Dior Men Summer 2024 collection that is an amalgamation of ideas of the house’s past creatives. From the tailoring silhouettes of Yves Saint Laurent to Gianfranco Ferré’s couture embroidery, the collection celebrates the archetypal masculine wardrobe and elevates them into something extravagant, yet reined with a spirited elegance.

Cardigan, polo, shorts, Saddle Soft bag and socks, DIOR MEN
(ALFREDO PIOLA)
Coat, jacket, shirt, beanie, brooches, Dior 3D S1I sunglasses and earring, DIOR MEN
(ALFREDO PIOLA)
Jacket, shirt, trousers, brooch, beanie, Dior 3D S1I sunglasses, freshwater pearl necklace, Dior Ultra Mini pouch, socks and Buffalo loafers, DIOR MEN.
Jacket, shirt, trousers, brooch, beanie, Dior 3D S1I sunglasses, freshwater pearl necklace, Dior Ultra Mini pouch, socks and Buffalo loafers, DIOR MEN
(ALFREDO PIOLA)
From BTS’ Jimin and Jungkook to every single member of Blackpink, Korean celebrities and idols are being recognised by luxury fashion houses and installed as brand ambassadors.
(DIOR)

The year 2023 was significant for many reasons. There was the rise of artificial intelligence with ChatGPT gaining traction (I assure you this story is written by an actual human). A new King was crowned in the United Kingdom. Twitter was rebranded to X under Elon Musk. Meta launched Twitter-, I mean X-adjacent, Threads (is anyone using this?). The Israeli-Palestinan conflict resurged with fierce aggressions of genocidal proportions. And a host of other life-altering events.

On the much lighter side of things, 2023 also saw a tsunami of Korean entertainment as it was effectively embraced as part of mainstream culture. There was no escaping the torrent of K-dramas and -movies released on streaming platforms, as well as K-pop songs that became part of TikTok dance challenges, all breaking through to the psyche of even the most casual of followers.

Luxury fashion brands appeared to have announced Korean celebrities as ambassadors in succession at one point. K-pop group Stray Kids' Felix and Hyunjin were officially tied to Louis Vuitton and Versace respectively, while Dior locked in TXT as well as Haerin of hit group NewJeans. As well, BTS members V, RM, Jungkook, J-Hope, Jimin and Suga all gained new brand ambassadorships in the same year. There have been at least 30 such announcements made, adding to the growing number of Korean celebrities and idols internationally recognised by luxury fashion brands.

It’s not unusual for K-pop idols to be decked out in some of the latest fashion threads, especially once they’ve been officially embraced by the brand—like Felix of Stray Kids, with Louis Vuitton.
(LOUIS VUITTON)

Brand events came out of the woodwork too, tapping on the popularity of Korean celebrities, whether or not they were official brand ambassadors. In Singapore, it became more common to witness dedicated fans camping out in malls and outdoor event spaces for hours before their favourite Korean celebrities were scheduled to make an appearance. From catching their idols gracing the launch of a new product, a new store opening, even a one-night-only private staging of a brand activation, fans welcomed the flurry of events that the brands have organised.

And like well-oiled machines, Korean celebrities know the things to do or say to get their crowds going. That's not to say that there's a tinge of insincerity in their actions or that they're simply going through the PR motions, but rather, these entertainment pros are used to the concept of fan service—an essential part of the Korean entertainment scene.

Actor Jung Hae-in's first fan meet in Singapore was part of his tenth anniversary in the industry.
(VIU)

The term “fan service” is said to have originated from Japanese anime and manga fandoms. It relates to the addition of certain scenes and imagery designed to pander to the desires of fans, often based on collective feedback. These can range from a romance-led narrative between two popular characters that fans have been clamouring for, or even the inclusion of a violent fight scene erupting from an underlying tension fans have deduced. The term has been used in a wide range of instances since—including Hollywood-related fandoms—but in the Korean entertainment scene, it's almost a de facto job requirement.

On constant watch

Ardent K-pop fans will be familiar with the number of weekly music shows where comebacks—a K-pop term that refers to new era-defining music releases by a unit—are performed as part of a scheduled publicity push. As with every K-pop performance (at least at the very beginning of a comeback), the dance choreography is kept synchronised with no deviations between each performance as a way of reinforcing the correlation between movements and song. The outfits and aesthetic concepts, however, vary every time. And fans notice everything.

Every facet of a performance is scrutinised, but largely for candid moments that main camera shots are likely to miss. And if you think K-pop groups have it easier because they technically could hide behind—other members in the line-up—it's common for groups to be made up of more than 10 individuals—you'd be sorely mistaken.

Fancams ensure that nothing escapes the fans. There are typically two main types of fancams. The first is a still camera setup that captures the entire onstage performance with zero edits and cuts. The second is a camera that's trained on each member of a group throughout the entirety of the performance, including when they're out of the main camera frame. Consider the latter as a fan service to those wanting an even closer focus on their bias (a fan's foremost favourite in a group), giving them access to every moment within a performance.

While it does seem intrusive, it isn't that much different from the hordes of phone cameras these artistes are faced with while performing a concert set. Fans often make use of these close-up shots to be better acquainted with their biases—noticing their performance quirks, facial expressions and more. It's the opportunity to also separate an individual from the unit, and in turn, further deepens their affection for an individual member. And of course, these are then shared on social media platforms with like-minded individuals.

Fancams are employed for solo artistes too. It's unlikely that a K-pop idol performs without backup dancers because the scale of even the simplest of productions in K-pop is rarely small. At my first K-pop concert by singer and rapper B.I. in March last year, I witnessed the whole phenomenon unfold. Seated among a visibly younger crowd, I could see through their phone screens just how tightly they zoomed in to capture the biggest and clearest view of the performer.

The VIP experience

I have attended a fair share of concerts in my lifetime, yet nothing could have prepared me for B.I's L.O.L.: The Hidden Stage concert. I was offered a set of VIP tickets by a friend, not realising that it afforded me more than just the usual concert experience.

Typically, VIP ticket holders are given access to a soundcheck session hours before the start of the actual concert. Idols tend to be more laid back in both attitude and appearance as they perform a select number of songs, both as a way of prepping the sound and an opportunity for a vocal warm-up for the main event. At times, it's a set list that's completely separate from the concert, and coupled with some banter. I was unfortunately unable to make it for B.I's (it was a really last-minute ticket offer) but heard really good things about it after.

The frenzy caused by the appearance of a Korean celebrity at any event is arguably unlike that of Western celebrities.
(ALEXANDER MCQUEEN)

VIP packages vary from artiste to artiste, and can range from anything that includes meeting the artiste as a select group, to more intimate after-show backstage sessions. At B.I's, we were given the opportunity to take a group photo with the performer after the concert. Each row of the VIP section was called up to the stage where chairs were arranged in a similar manner one would find in a school class photo. We were arranged in order of our seat numbers, sat down on the chairs or stood behind them, and B.I would position himself wherever he felt comfortable. All this was done in full view of the other VIP ticket holders who were either waiting for their turn or have completed the experience.

After all the rows had been called up and had their photos taken, the final part of the VIP experience was a last glimpse of B.I. As we walked out of the event venue, he sat casually slumped over a desk and waved goodbye to every single one of us.

The entire experience spanned almost four hours—a three-hour-long concert that included performances, pre-recorded video intervals, casual crowd interactions, a closing video made by fans that was watched together by the man himself, and the hour-long VIP experience—excluding the soundcheck. In contrast, a concert by a non-K-pop artist rarely goes beyond the two-hour mark.

A whole new world

To complete my 2023 Korean entertainment immersion, I attended a fan meet. It was a concept that's completely foreign to me. You see, a concert by a musician makes complete sense because it's a showcase of their repertoire of musicality and is pretty much what a musician does. Actor fan meets, however, seemed a bit strange. Was Jung Hae-in—an actor I personally adore and whose mug has been featured several times here on the pages of Esquire Singapore—going to be acting in a skit? Or perhaps reenact scenes he's known for? I was intrigued.

Fan meets with Korean actors are like mini variety shows where lucky fans get opportunities for close-up interactions.
(VIU)
Fans come in the droves and complete with signs homemade signs.
(VIU)

Presented by streaming platform Viu, Jung was in Singapore for his “The 10th Season” fan meet in October last year. It was a touring series of fan meets in celebration of a milestone 10th year of his career. Singapore was scheduled to be his last overseas stop before heading back to Korea for an encore, and then it's off to the United States and Canada.

The cherub-faced actor filled his fan meet with numerous games and interview sessions, as well as a few musical performances (Jung mentioned in one of the chats during the fan meet that he hopes to be able to sing more, having done so in a number of shows).

It was akin to a variety show. A host drove the conversations and helped transition from one segment to the other, while Jung was accompanied by his translator. In one segment, fans were told to vote, before entering the venue, for their favourite scene out of the many dramas that he's been a part of. Jung then regaled with behind-the-scenes anecdotes and divulged some of the processes that he had to go through before filming a certain scene. Lucky fans too were given the opportunity to get even closer to the actor as seat numbers were called to either participate in games or win merchandise—and of course, an opportunity to snap a selfie or two, which were mostly initiated by Jung. Fan service, people.

For someone who wasn't as familiar with these fan experiences that have become integral parts of the Korean entertainment scene, they do seem a great deal to expect of the artistes. But for the industry, the artistry is but a smidge of the public obligations that the artists are beholden to. Fans are what drive the industry; their dedicated fervour is what expands the reach of these celebrities beyond the Republic. They invest not only in the music, dramas and films, but also in the merchandise, exclusive experiences, and undoubtedly, the lives of these idols.

Perhaps it's an intrinsically Asian trait for Korean celebrities to feel the need to be indebted to fans for their continuous passionate support. And that's not a bad thing, especially when Korean celebrities have become bigger than Western ones in many ways. The fact that they're still as accessible—despite the screams from the crowds that gather to catch even a glimpse of them at everything from fashion week appearances to in-store events—edges them further ahead of their Western counterparts.

Jung talked about his various roles through set props and costumes. (VIU)
In one of the more serious segments of the fan meet, Jung read out letters written by a select number of fans in the audience. (VIU)
Before entering the venue, fans voted for their favourite scenes from Jung's filmography. (VIU)

I wouldn't say I'm completely taken by all of this—the demands of fan service have led to some terribly unfortunate circumstances within the industry too—but there is a lot to be admired and learnt from individuals who take their time to be of service to their fans, in recognition that these fans are who have helped create the unprecedented international frenzy of today.

B.I was noticeably tired as he made his final fan service at the exit of his Singapore show, and that's understandable. As much as the fans are passionate about their idols, the idols too have the same passion about giving back the same kind of energy that, for all we know, could change someone's life. It may sound dramatic but for someone who paid quite a sum for such a relatively intimate experience, any form of validation is a reward.

It was almost a given that the Dior Men Winter 2024 collection would once again be artistic director Kim Jones' homage to the storied history and archives of the House. Jones' continued reverence for the House has undoubtedly created some of the most inspiring contemporary pieces of late. And the fact that he's able to do so season after season, displays just how extensive the Dior archive is—there are still so many stories to discover and rediscover. Jones is helping to tell those stories.

For Winter 2024, Jones focused on the relationship between Dior and ballet, specifically Margot Fonteyn and Monsieur Dior, and by extension, the former's dance partner, Rudolf Nureyev. In a surprising happenstance, Jones' uncle—photographer and former ballet dancer Colin Jones—too had a link to Nureyev, having photographed the legend and developed a friendship with him. The Winter 2024 collection was thus fashioned as a complete wardrobe of a dancer's life, both onstage and off—channelled through Nureyev's life.

And if you think theatricality was left only in the clothes (including a Dior Men haute couture finale debut), you'd be sorely mistaken. Jones has been dabbling with the runway show theatrics of late. Summer 2024's show saw models ascending from the ground; Winter 2024 saw models ascending to the starry sky of the showspace in a stirring finale that in some ways, reminded me of the staging of one of the rooms in La Galarie Dior.

The fit: Tailoring was sharp and languid all the same—once again taking inspiration from Yves Saint Laurent's definitive silhouette for the House. But for Winter 2024, I'd like to focus on how the collection felt like it's made ready for travel. The collection consisted more of separate pieces than specifically designed coordinates, meaning that everything could be easily spliced and remixed together, reflecting the malleability of a dancer's off-duty wardrobe. Just grab a few pieces and one would essentially look pretty put together.

There's an apparent '70s vibe to the entire collection, marked by the simplicity of the shapes and the lack of excessive details (especially in the beginning looks). Fastenings too were designed to be easy—zips were rampant throughout the entire collection on everything from coats to rompers to deep-V cardigans.

The details: Ballet slippers were interpreted as Mary Jane loafers in a multitude of colours. One that stood out the most on the runway for me was one rendered in an electric blue, paired almost casually with a more grounding brown outfit (look 19). There were also more obvious interpretations of ballet slippers as well as slip-ons thrown in the mix.

Cannage bags were crafted from silk-like material, giving off a sheen that looked luxurious even from the elevated seating I was put at. They came in the form of camera as well as bum bags that added a utilitarian juxtaposition to the ready-to-wear's more elegant designs. One particular bag that immediately caught my eye was a backpack (look 47) embroidered with a somewhat blown-up toile de Jouy motif and paired with a top done in the same treatment. Beautiful.

While this collection felt more commercial and simplified than perhaps the Summer 2024 collection, the details were still aplenty, especially in the couture offerings. Embroidered collars and waists took on intricate forms, enveloping the circumference of where they're positioned and encasing the body with armour-like protection.

Three exceptional looks: Look 4's unassuming romper paired with a turban (inspired by a 1999 Stephen Jones creation for Dior womenswear) and mustard socks; the scrumptious oversized brown coat worn with leather trousers for a monochromatic fit in look 21; and the divine jewelled mastery of look 50 that also combined elements of Jones' interpretation of Dior Men that I personally gravitate towards.

The takeaway: A brilliant way of gaining inspiration from ballet without forcefully injecting tutus and skirts and all that stereotypical ilk.

View the full Dior Men Winter 2024 collection in the gallery below.

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It's the fourth day of Paris Fashion Week Men's and it's set to be quite a day with two big-named fashion houses scheduled to showcase their Autumn/Winter 2024 collections—Kenzo and Dior Men.

Artistic director Kim Jones has already revealed that the starting point of the Dior Men Winter 2024 collection is the relationship between Dior and ballet. Jones has also linked it to his own personal story of having an uncle who was a ballet dancer and connected to Rudolf Nureyez—quite easily one of the most renowned ballet dancers in history.

Knowing how Jones operates in the soft and often romantic side of things, there's little doubt the Dior Men Winter 2024 collection would be rather gender-blurring but in the most unexpected ways. Don't expect to see tutu skirts though; Jones will definitely put his own magical spin on ballet-influenced details.

For any confirmation, stay tuned for the show this Friday. And for an even closer look at the collection, follow @esquiresg on Instagram as we bring you the action live from Paris Fashion Week Men's.

What: Dior Men Winter 2024 runway show
Where: Paris, France
When: Friday, 19 January 2024 at 10pm Singapore time

Harris Dickinson.
Harris Dickinson.
Troye Sivan.
Troye Sivan.
Kelvin Harrison Jr..
Kelvin Harrison Jr..

The latest Prada Spring/Summer 2024 cast

A new trio of actors have ascended as the face of Prada's latest menswear campaign. The Spring/Summer 2024 menswear campaign features—for the very first time—Harris Dickinson, Troye Sivan, and Kelvin Harrison Jr. and lensed by Willy Vanderperre. All brilliant actors in their own right, just like how they each embody different characters from role to role, they portray the transformative nature of fashion coupled with Prada's penchant for stylistic juxtaposition.

Dior Men announces show date

We finally have a firm date for Dior Men's upcoming Fall 2024 runway show in Hong Kong. The show is set to take place on 23 March 2024—a break from its usual tradition of a December showing. While there isn't a show venue announced yet, it's safe to say that the fashion house will definitely not be taking over the city's Avenue of Stars that was the site for Louis Vuitton's show in November last year.

LeBron James fronts Pharrell's debut Louis Vuitton collection

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A post shared by Louis Vuitton (@louisvuitton)

Pharrell Williams' first collection for Louis Vuitton has officially hit boutiques this week. And the collection's latest face—the first was a pregnant Rihanna debuted as a lead-up to the runway show last year—is none other than LeBron James. The professional athlete was already pictured with Williams' reworked Louis Vuitton Speedy back in October and made the announcement on social media almost immediately, but we now have the full slate of the campaign going live. And let's just say that it's about time that James is given the LV spotlight.

Saint Laurent opens new concept

Saint Laurent's latest at Singapore's Paragon is a two-floor boutique that's unlike the others. The brand new design concept by Anthony Vaccarello is both raw and refined—quite like his creations for the House of late. Industrial grey concrete flooring is juxtaposed with grigio alpi marble walls and blue lumen marble as well as golden spider marble furnishings. The new boutique houses Saint Laurent's collection across all its categories and features a VIP room located on the second floor.

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.

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.

Matteo Tamburini.

Tod's has found its new creative

After almost two months since Walter Chiapponi's swansong at Tod's for its Spring/Summer 2024 women's runway show, the Italian brand has announced a successor. Matteo Tamburini has been given the creative reins and is set to make his debut in February to showcase Tod's Autumn/Winter 2024 women's collection. Tamburini comes from Bottega Veneta, where he has been working since 2017, first under the creative directorship of Tomas Maier.

Matthew M. Williams ends his run at Givenchy

Matthew M. Williams.

And hours before Tod's made its announcement, Givenchy made public its decision to end its partnership with creative director Matthew M. Williams after three years. Williams is set to officially step down effective 1 January 2024, with his final efforts for the fashion house—the Pre-Autumn 2024 collections for both menswear and womenswear—scheduled to be unveiled this month. Expectedly, no successor has been named yet. The in-house design team is said to be filling in while a new creative head is officially confirmed. Williams joined Givenchy in 2020, succeeding Riccardo Tisci's 12-year run.

Maison Kitsuné and Samsonite team up

It's Maison Kitsuné's Parisian-meets-Japanese aesthetics combined with Samsonite's practical and functional travel companions. The Maison Kitsuné x Samsonite collection plays on the former's signature Camo Fox motif in two monochromatic renditions across a range of lifestyle and travel accessories. Highlights include a reworked version of Samsonite's Spinner 68 luggage—perfect for long trips—and a compact Crossbody bag made to be an indispensable daily accessory. Every piece in the collection also comes with a detachable charm.

The Maison Kitsuné x Samsonite collection is now available in Samsonite stores and online at samsonite.com.sg.

A Verdy capsule for Kenzo

Ahead of the launch of the Spring/Summer 2024 collection by Kenzo, comes a special capsule collection with Japanese artist Verdy. A longtime friend of creative director Nigo, Verdy added his artistic, graphic expressions to the main Spring/Summer 2024 collection. The Kenzo x Verdy collection serves as a precursor with motifs—a number of Kenzo-branding reworked in Verdy's style—taken from the aforementioned collection and translated across a range of easy-to-wear staples rendered in muted colours.

The Kenzo x Verdy collection is now available on kenzo.com and in Kenzo boutiques from 4 December 2023.

And the next luxury brand to show in Hong Kong is...

The Dior Men Fall 2023 collection shown in Cairo this year.

...Dior Men. Just before Louis Vuitton held its first-ever runway show in Hong Kong this week, Dior Men made the announcement of its Fall 2024 runway location in the same city. The fashion house has already been making destination runway shows a constant endeavour, especially for its pre-collections with the latest held in Cairo in view of the Great Pyramids.

Jacket, shirt and trousers, DIOR MEN

To healthily live every day

Like many other actors when they debuted, Jung Hae-In played the lead character's brother or friend. It was not till 2018 when he paired with Son Ye-Jin in the romance drama, Something In The Rain, his role as a "warm boy" caught the public's attention and he was conferred the title of "National Cougler", that Jung's career reached its turning point.

During this interview, Jung's leading role in D.P. season 2 was about to be aired, his part as a soldier is a stark departure from his previous "warm boy" roles in romance dramas, which can be said to be another breakthrough for Jung's career.

During D.P.'s first season, it had already triggered social discussion in its native country as the drama explores the South Korean military's hierarchical practice and the associated bullying. Jung's role of a private assigned to a team, tracking down military deserters, endured various experiences in the process. Likewise after the series aired, not only did it ignite many heated discussions, it also evoked memories of people's own experiences during their military service. The drama received critical acclaim and went on to win "The Best Drama" at South Korea's Baeksang Arts Awards, so naturally all eyes are on the new season's plot. "The characters in the second season are explored more in-depth than the first season, delving into the characters' inner contradictions and battles. The second season will also add new characters to enrich the plot," shares Jung.

Jacket, vest, trousers, brooch and shoes, DIOR MEN

He will be promoted in the new season, and the series will continue to explore why the dark side of the military is deliberately ignored, and why bullying and discrimination are daily military occurrences that are not taken seriously.

Coincidentally, D.P. season 2's airing marks Jung's 10th anniversary since his debut. Jung's childhood dream was to become a bioengineer. That is until after his college entrance examinations, and he was on the way to the movie theatre, when he was discovered by a talent scout. Thereafter the idea of becoming an actor began to germinate, and he subsequently enrolled himself in acting courses. 

His parents were initially opposed to the switch, but Jung managed to win their approval and support through his persistence and enthusiasm for acting. "Since then, I have enjoyed acting very much. Different works and roles have also allowed me to accumulate rich performing experience, and I believe my acting skills will change and evolve with age. My goal in life is to be able to continue to act, but I will not say that I have achieved my goal yet. I'm continuously moving toward my dream. My dream is actually quite simple: to be healthy and to live every day and with a grateful heart," says Jung.

Jacket, shirt, hat, DIOR MEN

Unburdening

Having been in the industry for a decade, it's logical to sort out and summarise Jung's performance over the years. "If I had to choose my proudest work, it would be difficult. Put it this way, I would think D.P. brought me a breakthrough in my acting career, because the character and plot are completely different from all my previous work.

"The thing is, I have never deliberately counted how long I have been in the industry. Whether it is five or 10 years, it's just a number. The most important thing is that I hope I will not regret my past performances if I were to watch them in the future. In the past 10 years, I have acted in more than 20 dramas and movies, and I have enjoyed satisfaction from these works, regardless of how tough the process was, or the challenges I faced. I still find it very interesting.

"Of course, I will want to take a vacation and have a good rest. If my body sends a signal, I will definitely take a vacation to recharge and clean the slate of my previous roles, so I can absorb new subject matters and perspectives. I think this kind of treatment is applicable to everyone, energy can only be added if there is an offloading."

Jacket, shirt, trousers and shoes, DIOR MEN

Apart from acting, Jung also likes to sing. He fell in love with South Korean singer Lee Moon Se's song when it was included in the original soundtrack of the drama he acted in.

"I fell in love with his song when I heard it, I listened to it on repeat. I generally pay attention to lyrics when I listen to songs as well as the emotions carried in them. Recently, I've taken a liking to sports too and I really enjoy playing golf. Contrary to how it appears, golf is not an easy sport, and I'm attracted to overcoming unique challenges," shares Jung.

Barbeque expert

Jung has always been stereotyped as a "warm boy" or a "National Cougler" in his career thus far. The truth is that his persona also falls in line with the "warm boy". When he is not working, he enjoys dinner with his friends. He particularly enjoys barbequing and would volunteer to grill food for others to enjoy, so much so that he is fondly hailed "barbeque expert".

"I like to help others barbeque meat because I'm confident of my skills, and I feel that I'm very good at controlling the heat and taste. But I'm not a master chef and I usually cook simple dishes like stew or fried rice at home," says Jung.

Sweater, shirt, skirt, Dior Oblique Saddle Boxy bag, DIOR MEN

Looking forward to the future, Jung doesn't have too many thoughts, he just hopes to do his best for every role. "If I hadn't become an actor, I think I would still work hard to equip myself to become an actor eventually. To be honest, if I'm not an actor, I can't think of what else I would like to do. Every time I watch the work of my seniors, it reinvigorates and motivates me. I respect the two seniors, Han Suk-Kyu and Lee Byung-Hun, and I appreciate that they can perfectly present different images and characters in each role. If I had to choose my favourite movie, I would say it's About Time, the portrayal of people and time in it is quite beautiful," says Jung.

There's a spark in Jung's eyes whenever he talks about acting. With his hard work and determination, becoming the next best actor could just be around the corner.

Jacket, vest, trousers, necklace and shoes, DIOR MEN

Photography: Choi Moon Hyuk
Art Direction: Paddy Chan
Styling: Yoon Seul Ki
Photography Assistants: Kim Dong June, Seo Hye Yoon, and Jeon Sung Woo
Makeup: Soon Yeol
Hair: Sung Chan

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.

Photo by Dior.

K-pop's domination of fashion continues

If there's one trend in fashion that's held strong for years now, it's the hold that K-pop has on luxury fashion. The latest group to be officially named as Dior ambassadors is TOMORROW X TOGETHER, or more commonly known as TXT. The five-piece group made their debut in 2019 and are label mates with another K-pop phenom BTS—the first male group to ever collaborate with Dior Men back in 2019. TOMORROW X TOGETHER's ambassadorship was preceded by their performance at Lollapalooza Chicago on 5 August where Dior Men artistic director Kim Jones created custom looks for their set.

Puma x RIPNDIP: A tale of two cats

Photo by Puma.
Photo by Puma.

Famed for its feline mascot—the regally named Lord Nermal—Los Angeles-based brand RIPNDIP has dropped its collaboration with Puma. It's a fuss-free range of apparel, accessories and sneakers that combine Lord Nermal graphics with distinct Puma branding. On a number of pieces, including a sweat set, Lord Nermal evolves into Puma's cat logo, while he peeks mischievously along the sides of collaborative Puma Slipstreams.

The Puma x RIPNDIP collection is now available at Puma 313@somerset, VivoCity, Bugis+, ION Orchard and Jewel stores, Puma.com, and select Limited Edt. stores.

A look at a new Gucci

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A post shared by Sabato De Sarno (@sabatods)

We're about a month away from seeing newly installed creative director Sabato de Sarno's vision for Gucci. But ahead of the actual runway show that's set to take place during Milan Fashion Week, de Sarno teased a high jewellery campaign for the Italian fashion house on his personal Instagram account. The David Sims-lensed image features Daria Werbowy poolside at the Chateau Marmont hotel in Los Angeles, wearing statement earrings as well as subtly branded Gucci bikini bottoms. Werbowy was part of a 2004 campaign for Gucci during the Tom Ford era, potentially signalling a return to a similar aesthetic—of glossy glamour and sensuality.

Could this be the start of an American conglomerate?

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A post shared by Tapestry, Inc. (@tapestry)

New York-based Tapestry, Inc.—the parent company of Coach—is acquiring Capri Holdings in an USD8.5 billion deal. The latter's portfolio, comprising Michael Kors, Versace, and Jimmy Choo, will be added to Tapestry's existing umbrella of brands that includes Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman. In a press release, CEO of Tapestry Joanne Crevoiserat says: "From this position of strength, we are ready to leverage our competitive advantages across a broader portfolio of brands. The combination of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman together with Versace, Jimmy Choo, and Michael Kors creates a new powerful global luxury house, unlocking a unique opportunity to drive enhanced value for our consumers, employees, communities, and shareholders around the world."

Kenshi Yonezu fronts Loewe's autumn/winter 2023 menswear campaign

Photo by Loewe.
Photo by Loewe.
Photo by Loewe.
Photo by Loewe.

For Loewe's autumn/winter 2023 menswear campaign, Japanese musician Kenshi Yonezu (also known as Hachi) offers a glimpse into his creative impulses. Photographed by Arnaud Lajeunie, the campaign features Yonezu in the collection's standout pieces—including a shirt affixed with metal wings—alongside comic books, novels and memorabilia that have shaped Yonezu. Creative director Jonathan Anderson calls the partnership timely as Loewe celebrates its 50th year in Japan.

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