As gender labels become an ever more abstract proposition, the notion of borrowing from the boys is outdated. Indeed, the smartest shoppers buy from all departments, with menswear offering some of the best cuts when it comes to tees and tailoring. For autumn/winter 2022, it was the turn of one particular accessory, which society traditionally labels “masculine”, to go mainstream: the tie. Uniforms will be big news next season, at least if Gucci and Louis Vuitton have got anything to do with it.
Less schoolboy, more vintage-obsessed sixth former, Nicolas Ghesquière’s floral iterations evoke “a certain stylistic idea of adolescence”, the Louis Vuitton creative director told Vogue. “Sartorially speaking, adolescence is a time that’s free of conformity, comprised of mélange, dissonance, and resonance…” On models, including Squid Games star HoYeon Jung, his blooming silk ties sang of afternoons spent riffling through the attic, but looked undeniably cool when teamed with one-size-up suiting.
Louis Vuitton autumn/winter 2022.
Gucci autumn/winter 2022.
Over at Gucci, there was zero cross-pollination between officewear and Alessandro Michele’s ties, which came skinny and in leather. Worn with jaunty headwear (including the caps from Gucci’s new collab with Adidas), and all manner of excellent jackets, from silver trenches to capelets, the collection was a gender fluid dressing-up box of Gucci dreams.
Of course, menswear and womenswear have always existed as one for Michele. “My vision is broad,” he said before his show, the first on the Milan Fashion Week schedule in two years. “Men have opened the dialogue with the feminine world, but women also like men’s suits, and vice versa.” The mood? Anyone can wear anything.
Brands such as Sportmax and Vivienne Westwood also touched on the tie trend. But if you see fashion plates – like Bella Hadid, who is already ahead of the corporate curve – wearing them in the coming months, then Ghesquière and Michele are the ones to thank. Where the big houses go, others follow; just don’t lose sight of the genesis of the look: free-spiritedness, rather than the nine-to-five grind. Think Annie Hall over city slicker, Amelia Earhart as opposed to collegiate chic. No number crunching is required – bar counting how many of Louis Vuitton’s pastel silks you can feasibly add to your top drawer, of course.