Many things come and go (and come again) in fashion. Yet, the elegance of formal menswear continues to stand the test of time. One may argue that there’s less of a need to be decked out in a full suit these days, but that doesn’t mean that the category has been rendered completely obsolete.
Louis Vuitton’s latest "New Formal" menswear collection reiterates the fusion of timeless elegance with modern tailoring, elevating formal staples with luxury craftsmanship. Following the Spring/Summer 2024 debut, this latest trans-seasonal instalment places a spotlight on slim suiting. Single-breasted jackets are paired with cigarette trousers for a timeless silhouette that’s designed to exude an air of confidence and refined professonalism. Apart from being available in classic shades of black and navy, an option in white makes for the perfect fit for an evening soirée.
The Damier motif that’s been further emphasised by Louis Vuitton men’s creative director Pharrell Williams adorns everything from suiting to footwear, while a wavy motif and pinstripes cut on the bias add subtle, dynamic flair—as if one needs more examples on how this isn’t your father’s idea of tailoring. Footwear styles such as the Sorbonne loafers, Varenne Chelsea boots and Richelieus in rich leather tones complement the tailored options and prove to be key staples of the “New Formal” collection.
Formality here, however, isn’t just defined by suiting. This new instalment expands the idea of formalwear with tailored outerwear that act as complementary, timeless options. An elegant navy suede leather blouson, a beige peacoat designed with a shearling collar, as well as a parka constructed as a three-in-one piece, all offer the kind of versatility one would expect from a collection meant to be an indispensible investment. Wear them with the extensive coordinated options of the “New Formal” tailoring, or pair them with other more casual wardrobe staples for an elegant quick-fix.
Iconic bag styles like the Keepall travel bag and the Aerogram Lock It tote are meant to suit every professional need. The Georges tote—introduced in the first instalment—too makes a return as it becomes a sort of emblem for the collection. Crafted in Millésime grained leather by Domaine des Massifs, the design is sleek, stylish, and hardy such that it makes for a brilliant alternative to an ordinary briefcase.
The suit is dead, long live the suit.
The latest Louis Vuitton "New Formal" collection is now available in Louis Vuitton boutiques and online.
Edited by Asri Jasman
At the recently concluded Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear runway show during Paris Fashion Week Men's, BamBam was one of many celebrity attendees. The Thai-born singer and rapper of K-pop group GOT7 easily stood out with his red hair and Pharrell Williams-designed fit. Wearing look 9 from the Maison's Spring/Summer 2024 menswear collection, BamBam (like the style savant that he is) put his own spin by opting for black trousers instead of shorts, heavy-duty boots, and finished it off with pearl accessories.
His presence at the show was quite a social media hit. The hashtag #BamBamXLVFW24—an unofficial, fanbase-initiated hashtag—amassed over 2.1 million posts on various platforms. It's little wonder that weeks after the show, BamBam was officially announced as Louis Vuitton's newest house ambassador. "I am super happy to join Louis Vuitton as a house ambassador this time," BamBam says in an announcement video. "What Pharrell is doing here is amazing. I'm super honoured to be part of it."
The appointment is made sweeter as not only is BamBam now part of Louis Vuitton's illustrious list of ambassadors, he also joins fellow bandmate, Jackson Wang, who has been part of the fold since 2023. Wang was even one of the faces of the Maison's "Horizons Never End" campaign that centred on its spirit of travel. It may be too soon to say for sure if BamBam will be featured in an upcoming campaign, but given his pull and reach, we'd say the chances of one is quite likely. In an official press release, Louis Vuitton has already hinted on "an exciting collaborative journey".
This road to an house ambassadorship with Louis Vuitton, however, was a longtime coming. BamBam had already been wearing Louis Vuitton on a number of occasions years before. And while it's common for those in the K-pop sphere to wear the newest threads from the big fashion houses, Louis Vuitton seemed to be quite a prominent fixture in BamBam's roster of brands.
In 2021, he wore a Louis Vuitton suit featuring a watercolour version of its famed Monogram for the music video of "riBBon" that's part of his first mini-album. The musician even wore a Nicholas Ghesquière-designed Spring/Summer 2022 womenswear look the very same year, proving that the man can rock just about anything from the Maison's universe. Throughout the year and years since, BamBam frequently repped Louis Vuitton—from jewellery to bags to ready-to-wear—in a number of magazine editorials, appearances as well as performances.
He made his first Louis Vuitton runway appearance at Williams' debut show, where he was visibly overjoyed to be reunited with Wang. And simply put, that moment became the turning point in his relationship with the Maison. Not only was he deserving of a spot on the front row of one of fashion's biggest moment that season, it was an official recognition of BamBam as a worthy ambassador of the Maison's new chapter.
And to have it happen after celebrating 10 years of with GOT7, we reckon BamBam as a style icon is about to get more traction.
Edited by Asri Jasman
While writing this review, "Good People" by Mumford & Sons and Pharrell Williams is playing on Spotify. Ever since the song was played as part of Louis Vuitton's Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear runway show soundtrack, it's been stuck in my head ever since. A stirring rhythm made perfect by Mumford & Sons' signature musicality, it was one of four original songs Williams worked together with other musicians to amplify the mood of the show. "Good People" is the only one that has been released on streaming platforms.
Lest we forget, multi-hyphenate Williams has had an accomplished music career for decades now. As a producer, he was responsible for some of the greatest, most addictive hits—from Usher's "U Don't Have to Call" to Camila Cabello's "Havana". Williams knows that the music is just as important as the collection walking down the runway. "Good People"'s country-esque undertones and marching beat felt rousing as models walked fast in the makeshift showspace right next to Fondation Louis Vuitton.
And just like how he'd collaborated with a number of artists for the soundtrack, the Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 collection was also an amalgamation of many different cultures and aspects of his home state of Virginia. The overarching Americana-themed collection saw plenty of cowboy-inspired looks with American Western motifs and silhouettes running rampant throughout. They were added with touches by both the Dakota and Lakota nations—not only in the accessories, but also the staging of the show and soundtrack.
The collaborations didn't stop there. The runway show debuted a collaboration with American brand Timberland. Some of the work boots were housed within clear plexiglass and Monogram canvas Louis Vuitton trunks carried by models like prized possessions—these are set to be limited editions. There were a few iterations of the Timberland x Louis Vuitton collaborations and they're crafted by the team at Louis Vuitton's Italian ateliers.
The role of a creative director is more than just about designing. It's about bringing together multiple ideas, streamlining them, at times editing them, and ensuring that everything feels cohesive. Williams has had decades of practice albeit not as long within the fashion realm, but the man clearly knows his stuff. And this third outing with the maison proves it.
The fit: Part-cowboy and part-American workwear, the entire Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear collection were essentially reworked updates on classic American Western tropes. Tailoring—a segment that Williams has excelled in with Louis Vuitton—made use of boot-cuts and flares with a bodice that was proportionally slim. When they were not rendered in variations of the camouflage Monogram, they were decorated with fine embellishments and at times, Dakota flower motifs in stunning placements.
While some looks may border on the side of being a tad too costume-y, the entire collection felt more like contemporary reimaginings of American Western clichés designed to be wearable and elevated. Cowboy buckle belts for example, were branded with Vuitton in the maison's signature scripts with other versions displaying a more craft-centric approach. And the styling too was quite enjoyable to see as these classic tropes came together in all their warm, dessert-like hues.
The details: It'd be remiss of me to talk about a Louis Vuitton collection without mentioning the bags. The classic Steamer was reintroduced in three sizes, including a massive 65-cm silhouette that was hard to miss out on as it made its way down the runway. The massive Steamer could easily fit a cabin-sized luggage inside of it. There were Speedy affixed with gems and others designed in new forms, including a studded saddle version.
What caught my eyes the most were the worn out treatment of the Monogram canvas. Rendered to look as though the bags themselves have been baked in the sun for a long time, creating a beautiful light patina along the sides.
Three exceptional looks: Look 13's play on the flamboyant nuances of American Western ensembles, with a flared trim around the torso; everything about look 28 from the all-white suit with abstract prints and contrasted with that bold, in-your-face Speedy; and the closing look of a leather Monogram suiting crafted to perfection.
The takeaway: Louis Vuitton may have indeed found the right person to continue to evolve Louis Vuitton into more than just a luxury fashion brand.
View the full Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear collection in the gallery below.
After two show-stopping shows in succession—a debut on one of Paris' famous brides and a takeover of a Hong Kong landmark—creative director Pharrell Williams is readying his third outing for Louis Vuitton.
As one would imagine, details are somewhat scant at the moment. All that we know thus far is the location of the show in Paris (it's still under embargo but we know) and the teaser of Virginia being a point of reference. Williams was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia and it's clear that he'd probably include inspirations from his home state or even perhaps memories from his childhood. How that will eventually pan out, is anybody's guess.
But after a debut that saw such a strong support from the Black entertainment community—Beyoncé and Rihanna at the same event—we're left guessing how Williams is going to top the theatrics this time around. And most importantly, what new, reimagined Louis Vuitton icons will be presented.
For any confirmation, stay tuned for the show this Wednesday. 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: Louis Vuitton Autumn/Winter 2024 menswear runway show
Where: Paris, France
When: Wednesday, 17 January 2024 at 3am Singapore time
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Beyoncé and Jay-Z were not in attendance at the Louis Vuitton Pre-Autumn 2024 menswear show in Hong Kong as rumoured—nor were Zendaya. There was also no post-runway performance as what we saw during Pharrell Williams' debut show during Paris Fashion Week Men's. But that didn't mean that there was any lack of a "show".
Apart from the occasion being a milestone first for both Louis Vuitton and Williams—it was the first Louis Vuitton show to be held in Hong Kong and its first menswear pre-collection to be staged ever as well as being William's first pre-collection outing—quite a lot was at stake. Williams' debut (as all debuts go) served as an introductory teaser to his vision for the maison. The Louis Vuitton Pre-Autumn 2024 menswear collection was an opportunity to drive down those ideas even further, especially in a more commercial setting.
Less we forget, the pre-collections are conceptually commercial fillers to the main seasonal collections. And by commercial, I mean more accessible (fashion-wise) to the average consumer who perhaps isn't looking to purchase an embellished suit or a head-to-toe Monogram fit. Williams appeared to achieve just that with his 64-strong showcase that, while noticeably pared back as compared to his Spring/Summer 2024 debut, offered a number of more extravagant pieces that tied back to his overarching vision for the maison.
Staged on the Avenue of Stars in view of Hong Kong's cityscape, Louis Vuitton recreated a beach complete with sand and floor-screens that displayed continuous waves of water meeting the "shoreline". Williams took reference from surf culture as well as nautical influences that all point to the moon as an element that binds them all together.
The runway show ended with a parade led by Williams himself. But not before a drone-filled sky took on shapes that alluded to the show's narrative of LVers travelling from Hawaii to Hong Kong—show-stopping enough to gather everyone's attention.
The fit: The Louis Vuitton Pre-Autumn 2024 menswear collection was teeming with surf and nautical references. At its very literal, sailor motifs—flap collars, berets, and Dixie cup hats—were prevalent as running elements throughout. These were then amplified with Hawaiian prints reimagined as a new take of the maison's Monogram motif, appearing on bags, accessories, tailoring, and of course, Hawaiian shirts.
What's quickly becoming key for Williams' Louis Vuitton menswear is tailoring—a surprising approach given his streetwear leanings similar to that of the late Virgil Abloh. While there were a number of streetwear-inspired separates ranging from oversized shirting to mixed-material outerwear, the collection consisted of a heavy emphasis on tailoring. Suits were aplenty and came in a number of iterations and embellishments, and were all finished with mother of pearl buttons. When they're not paired with signature-Williams berms, suit trousers were flared for a decidedly stylish touch.
The most labour-intensive creation came in the form of the closing look's spectacular bomber jacket. Crafted from denim, the entire piece was covered with crystals and pearls depicting Poseidon, fish, florals and water—a nod to the lakes and fisherman of Williams' hometown of Virginia.
The details: Bags and accessories heavily leaned on the nautical spirit of the collection. The most literal were leather charms that took on the forms of sea creatures and were fixed on the collection's bags. The new Surfing Monogram—that combination of Hawaiian prints and the LV Monogram—appeared in four different colourways on a number of pieces including Williams' new iteration of the emblematic Keepall bag.
Three exceptional looks: Look 9's clever update to a striped coordinate that's interpreted with pearl embellishments (including a mini LV charm interspersed throughout); the burnt orange ensemble of look 40 that's decorated with floral appliqués and topped with a woven beret; and the all-denim look 57 cleverly styled with a simple hint of a surfer-inspired charm.
The takeaway: Williams knows what's he's doing with Louis Vuitton, no doubt about it.
View the full Louis Vuitton Pre-Autumn 2024 menswear collection in the gallery below.
Louis Vuitton men's creative director Pharrell Williams certainly knows how to make waves. After a show-stopping debut during June's Paris Fashion Week Men's, Williams is bringing the maison's Pre-Autumn 2024 collection to Hong Kong.
The staging of a Louis Vuitton menswear pre-collection runway show has never been done before. The maison typically opts for a lookbook release (pre-collections tend to be more commercial in aesthetic as compared to main runway collections) instead of making it an event like what its womenswear division does. There's no denying that with Williams' debut garnering the kind of reach brands clamour for—Louis Vuitton reported over one billion views across its owned platforms as well as its press accounts—the maison is hoping to replicate a similar moment once again.
The Louis Vuitton Men's Pre-Autumn 2024 runway show will also mark the first time that the maison stages a show in Hong Kong. The show will see the takeover of the famed Avenue of Stars as well as the neighbouring K11 MUSEA—both iconic landmarks of the city.
What could the collection look like? Well, that remains to be seen. But if the teaser is anything to go by, we're expecting to see semblances of cruise-appropriate designs interspersed with Williams' inimitable sense of style. Or perhaps sailor-esque fits embellished with pearls.
What: Louis Vuitton Men's Pre-Autumn 2024 runway show
Where: Hong Kong
When: Thursday, 30 November 2023 at 8pm Singapore time
Loïc Prigent, the famous French fashion journalist and documentary maker, is a constant figure at just about every fashion show, capturing moments and people, and narrating every highlight in his unmistakable French-accented voice. He’s now lending his vocals to Louis Vuitton’s debut podcast series Louis Vuitton [Extended] where he brings listeners through various facets of the maison’s universe.
“Art and culture—these two words in their broadest sense are the real things at Louis Vuitton,” Prigent pronounces as an introduction to the podcast’s first episode. The entire premise of Louis Vuitton [Extended] is to serve as a new vehicle for telling the story of the maison—from its expansive repertoire of fashion to the many events held on an international scale. The key elements of the series are interviews with creative minds behind the maison, the likes of creative director of women’s collections Nicolas Ghesquière, master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud and artistic director of watches and jewellery Francesca Amfitheatrof, will appear in upcoming episodes. And with Louis Vuitton known for its many collaborative endeavours across every aspect of its business, you can expect appearances by a host of personalities from artists and designers to athletes and chefs.
Louis Vuitton [Extended] begins with Pharrell Williams, the maison’s newest men’s creative director. In the 26-minute episode, Pharrell and Prigent are joined by Bishop Ezekiel Williams—Pharrell’s uncle, who helms the Voices on Fire choir that provided a soaring end to the Spring/Summer 2024 menswear runway show this past June—as they talked about the conceptualisation of the show, creativity and family. The episode is interspersed with moments that Prigent had captured of the show, adding context for listeners who haven’t yet watched it. We are struck by how atmospheric and incredibly intimate it is at the same time.
That Louis Vuitton is venturing into podcast is anything but out of left field. The storied maison takes storytelling seriously. If anyone needs convincing, just take a gander into its incredibly detailed collection notes as well as the many published tomes that cover both in-house stories and travel itineraries.
There is no telling how long the podcast series will go on. But for now, Louis Vuitton [Extended] is scheduled to drop new episodes on a bimonthly basis with each spanning between 20 and 40 minutes.
And quite honestly, who better to host a series on one of the most famous French brands than a characteristically French man?
Tobacco and honey go on a head-on collision in Guerlain’s latest expression of its L’Art & La Matière collection. The headiness of raw tobacco (think a woody, almost intoxicating ruggedness) is smoothed over with Calabrian honey (a beloved honey extract of the house), to form a sensual tension of opposites. At the heart of both ingredients is a common warmth that grounds Tobacco Honey. It is ambery in profile, but the concocted tobacco accord—a combination of various raw materials to replicate that distinct tobacco note—is enveloped in vanilla, tonka bean and sesame for a balanced sweetness.
There is no doubt that Tobacco Honey is rich and decadent, reflected by its liquid gold-like colouring of its resulting formulation. And because this is part of Guerlain’s L’Art & La Matière collection, the fragrance’s vessel is just as decadent. Artist Anne Féat Gaiss, whose work involves sculpting paper, created a plate for Tobacco Honey’s cap involving sculpted paper that’s then glided with copper leaf as a beautiful reflection of the fragrance.
One of the oldest known perfume ingredients, myrrh is often considered to have a complex fragrance profile that is difficult to describe. It is earthy in nature, lending a woody and warm aroma that can be pungent and bitter at the same time. In perfumery, it is often used to add depth, based on its complexity alone. In Myrrhe Mystère, Tom Ford Beauty plays on its mysterious profile as its central hero.
Myrrhe Mystère enlists the power and mystique of two myrrh-based elements—myrrh essence and a trademarked myrrh resinoid orpur formulation—that are then combined with its Ultra Vanille accord infused in a number of existing Tom Ford fragrances. The resultant fragrance is one that envelopes with a rich aura. It’s an undoubtedly sophisticated scent meant to act as a provocative and vibrational expression of myrrh. But with the balanced blend of the earthiness of myrrh, the sweetness of vanilla and the woodiness of sandalwood, Myrrhe Mystère evokes a calm serenity.
Yves Saint Laurent Beauty’s Libre series is proving to be a favoured androgynous fragrance. The House expands the tension between masculine and feminine nuances with Libre L’Absolu Platine. Concocted by master perfumers Anne Flip and Carlos Benaïm—the duo behind the original Libre eau de parfum—a new accord that they’re calling “white lavender” gives Libre L’Absolu Platine its piercing scent.
The Libre series is already beloved for its Diva Lavender Heart (crafted specifically for Yves Saint Laurent) that amps up the floral expression of the lavender essence extracted from Diva lavender grown in Provence. The white lavender accord elevates the natural characteristics of lavender with its icy sheen provided by a vegetal aldehyde, polygonum. The result is an almost metallic note that cuts through, bringing about a renewed freshness that’s balanced out with orange blossom—another Libre ingredient. Like the best of tailoring, Libre L’Absolu Platine is sharp while altogether cool and powdery for a fragrance that’s undeniably sexy.
The latest in Louis Vuitton’s Les Extraits collection by master perfumer Jacques Cavallier Belletrud is Myriad. Like its five other single-named fragrances in the collection, Myriad is what Louis Vuitton considers its ultimate expression of perfume that breaks free from convention.
Oud is the olfactory ingredient on which Myriad is based. Belletrud looked to the essence of Assam oud selected from a supplier in Bangladesh that is now exclusive to the maison. The strong woody and spicy depth of oud is beautifully balanced with floral notes developed through a combination of different roses. Bulgarian rose and Grasse-sourced May rose are mixed to produce a delectable rose combo that is fresh and rounded. To amplify the leathery nuances of oud, saffron is added to the mix, while cocoa, ambrette, white musk and a note of moss work together to lift the fragrance for a velvety finish. There is intensity and lightness—an unlikely contrast that speaks volumes of the complexity of Myriad. It is topped with a Frank Gehry-designed cap to further accentuate the exceptional level of quality.
Miu Miu's collaboration with New Balance continue to be one that's highly sought after by both women and men with feet size smaller than a 42 EUR. Its latest collaborative effort could potentially garner the same reception—this time with British luxury footwear brand Church's. The brand also happens to be part of Prada's group of brands, which could attest to why the two-piece Church's x Miu Miu collection—a pair of brogues and a pair of double-monks—look to be a seamless collaboration. The make of the shoes are rounder and broader than Church's originals, and are fitted with a sportier rubber sole. But unfortunately, for those of us 42 EUR-sized and above, these aren't meant for us.
The Church's x Miu Miu collection drops in Miu Miu boutiques from 6 September.
Ground Y—the brainchild of acclaimed fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto—has collaborated with anime hub Crunchyroll on a limited edition collection of Hell's Paradise-inspired ready-to-wear. The collection stays true to Ground Y's ethos of genderless and ageless fashion with artfully done prints from the anime featured on oversized hoodies, shirts and more.
Both on and off the runway, Alexander McQueen is proving that its outré designs are made to fit a diverse range of individuals. The autumn/winter 2023 campaign exemplifies this with its cast that includes supermodel Naomi Campbell alongside male models Momo Ndiaye and Eliott De Smedt Day as well as French singer Yseult. While the collection showcases standout three-dimensional knits, its the tailoring—applied for both men and women—that truly shines, reflecting a sense of genderless styling codes.
Following the announcement of fellow Stray Kids member Hyunjin as Versace's global ambassador, Louis Vuitton has taken in Felix as its newest house ambassador. The performer known for providing Stray Kids with deep, growly vocals, was previously seen attending Louis Vuitton's pre-autumn 2023 women's show in Seoul and had been dressed by the house for a number of the group's performances as well as appearances. In a statement, Nicolas Ghesquière, Louis Vuitton’s artistic director of women’s collections, praises Felix for "his energy, his unique personality and his audacious sense of style".
Carlos Alcaraz keeps racking up W's. There was, of course, the victory over Novak Djokovic in the final at Wimbledon in July of this year. (Alcaraz says he "learn[s] something from him every time we play.") Before that was his 100th career win at the Indian Wells Masters in March. And in between those two tennis milestones, a triumph of a different sort: being named a brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton. Not bad for a guy who just recently turned 20.
"I have admired the brand for a long time," Alcaraz says of Vuitton, "so for me the partnership is a dream come true."
Today, the storied French fashion house unveils its spring/summer 2024 formalwear campaign—and Esquire has your exclusive first look. In still photos and an entrancing video, Alcarez takes his virtuoso tennis moves off the court and into an opulent grand hall, all while wearing impeccable tailoring and luxurious loungewear.
"It was a bit surreal being in a palace wearing a Louis Vuitton suit," Alcaraz says of the experience on set, "but [photographer] Dan Jackson and his team were amazing. Once we got into it, we had a lot of fun."
So, when he's not the star of a fashion campaign, has the spotlight changed the way Alcaraz dresses in real life? "Honestly, not really," he says. "I try not to think about it too much. I am still developing my sense of style. That is, of course, made easier by my family at Louis Vuitton, who are always on hand to help when I need." Not a bad situation to find oneself in, if you can manage to make it happen.
It goes without saying, though, that it all comes back to the sport that rocketed Alcaraz into the rarified air that he's currently breathing. And the next step in this big summer of W's is the U.S. Open, which kicks off on 28 August. Alcaraz won it last year—his first major. Now, he's readying himself for a return, and he's pretty excited about it.
"It was incredible to win my first major in NY," he says. "The crowd there are the best. I can't wait to get back out there under the lights."
Photos by Dan Jackson.
Originally published: Esquire US
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.
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.
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.
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.
The latest variations of the Taurillon Monogram and Monogram Macassar are now available in Louis Vuitton boutiques as well as online.