Defying Y2K Trends, High Waisted Men’s Pants Are Poised for Spring 2024 Surge

Defying Y2K Trends, High Waisted Men’s Pants Are Poised for Spring 2024 Surge

Against all odds, including a wave of Y2K influences, several directional designers showed some of the highest-waisted pants in in recent runway history. For them, low-rise doesn’t seem to be apart of the equation for now.
At Rick Owens, the show opened with radical flared pants featuring a very high, cinched waist, “giving an appearance of endless legs not seen since the modeling heydays of Nadja Auerman,” quipped WWD international editor, Miles Socha. 

Loewe’s Jonathan Anderson focused on a similar silhouette with jeans pavéd in tiny crystals that almost reached the ribcage. “Stretching out the proportion,” the designer explained post-show. The runway set, with its towering fountain sculptures by Lynda Beglis, reinforced this idea. 

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Elsewhere, tucked-in shirts emphasized hiked-up waists at Officine Générale, JordanLuca and Dries van Noten, but it was Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons who took the styling trick to extremes with shirts that had extra-wide, extra-long sleeves, adding to the illusion of a shortened torso. 

Out-of-the-box waist treatments also aided in keeping baggy pants from dipping below the navel. 

At Juun.J, jackets were inverted and tied at the waist, exaggerating the hip to hourglass proportions. A swath of olive green fabric did the same at Burk Akyol, while Luca Magliano, winner of the LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize for 2023, furthered his rough-hewn, downbeat aesthetic with dangling hook and bar closures and layered belts. 

And while full-volume legs were certainly the dominating pant shape for spring, Anthony Vacarello continued to push for skinny versions done in black grain de poudre at Saint Laurent. These had waists so tight they “strangled the hips of his young models as they lurched forward on glossy, high-heeled boots,” observed Socha.

Magliano Men’s Spring 2024

Magliano Men’s Spring 2024

Staged only weeks after he was named joint winner of the Karl Lagerfeld Special Jury Prize at the 2023 LVMH Prize, Luca Magliano’s latest show felt more big-league than his past outings: It was held in the cavernous Palazzo del Ghiaccio venue that has hosted runway events for the likes of Etro, Missoni, Moschino and others.
He drew all the top editors, plus fellow designers Andrea Adamo and Alessandro Dell’Aqua, for whom he worked earlier in his career. They all sat on a hodgepodge of benches and cafeteria chairs, surrounded by construction-site fences draped with white tarps, bringing to mind Martin Margiela-isms of yore.

On his raised runway, carpeted with industrial felt, Magliano continued to exalt humble fashion archetypes and small-town characters, which had an emotional tug for many in the audience, who roared with approval when the all-ages cast rambled out for the finale.

Like Matthew M. Williams at 1017 Alyx RSM, Magliano favors soulful clothes with a lived-in familiarity achieved through intense fabric treatments.

But Magliano mines a more humble, downbeat esthetic, adding deliberate coffee stains and burn marks to jeans and jean jackets, purposeful droop to wooly cardigans, and rough-hewn waistbands and hems that can look very DIY.

Other quirky details abound: little fabric braids spilling off T-shirt collars; gold chains jumbled together as a chest harness; a jeweled brooch pinned inexplicably over one kidney; or a panel of fabric with hook-and-eye closures that falls away from one corner of an oversized black blazer, revealing some point d’esprit lace.

Small feather boas were among the other boudoir details mixed in with Magliano’s slouchy, downbeat ’80s tailoring, worn by men and women.

Some T-shirts and tank tops bore slogans of thanks and prayers, while many sweaters and fabric carrier bags broadcast prominent Magliano SRL logos. While perceived as yet-more obvious branding, they stood for something else, according to the show notes: The designer’s beloved hometown of Bologna and his fashion company — “the place where things get done.”

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