As menswear presents its SS24 collections at London Fashion Week, two trends have become abundantly clear: skin is in and life’s a beach. Brands like Saul Nash, Sagaboi, Justin Cassin, and SMR Days debuted collections showing strong inclinations toward swim motifs, flashes of skin, and tactful preppiness. All collections managed to balance the ideal menswear vibe for the next summer season: cool surfer dudes who also know how to wear a suit (while showing off their abs).
Saul Nash, a Central Saint Martins alumnus, sent his models down the sandy runway looking like they were off to compete in the chicest swim competition ever. Donning swim caps, sunglasses, and goggles across their foreheads, the show might as well have doubled as the Olympic swim trials. The designer incorporated classic Nash elements like contrast piping and stitching, along with bright, yet un-abrasive colors. As a former student of performance design and practice, Nash created these garments with movement and flexibility in mind. While it’s almost insulting to call the collection athleisure, the pieces, like a scuba-like bodysuit and a color blocked wind breaker, are certainly athletic-inspired.
If the Saul Nash wearer is the dedicated athlete swimming laps in the pool, the Sagaboi shopper is the one sipping a cocktail on the pool deck. A collection full of bright colors, bold crochet, and a hint of sequins invites you to have fun next summer and look good while doing it. Using popping shades of cobalt, cherry red, and buttery yellow, Sagaboi portrays an interesting dichotomy of the masculine and feminine, showing pleated skirts and skin-baring crochet, along with boxy unbuttoned shirts and well-tailored trousers. Sagaboi gets its name from the Caribbean subculture “saga boy,” meaning someone who dresses fashionably and rebels against masculinity. Such rebellion is evident in Sagaboi’s deft belief that embracing the feminine can enhance the masculine.
Justin Cassin’s collection is for the more serious beachgoer––they may have just come from a business lunch but they are certainly ready to show off some skin. While models walked down the runway with neat trousers and lapeled blazers, the audience was reminded that this was a business casual event, as Cassin decided to forgo shirts and instead left exposed torsos peaking out from jackets. Based on more neutral tones of olive, grays, and browns, the show emphasized a return to well-made basics. Cassin always designs with his customer in mind, wanting the wearer to stand out, which is certainly the case in this collection of soft suedes and expertly tailored jackets.
SMR Days also took a collared and preppy approach for summer dressing, but opted for striped and geometric prints in shades of rose, blue, and burgundy. With relaxed, breezy silhouettes in linen and silk, the laid-back brand is begging for you to wear this collection amongst palm trees, stat. Highlights from the recent launch include matching shorts and jacket combo in a rectangular pattern of pinks, reds, and oranges. The loosely structured jacket is casually collarless and crafted with mother of pearl buttons. Matching sets seem to be a major theme of the collection, as most pieces are paired with an item in the same color and pattern, like a linen shirt with small embroidered turtles that also appear on the jacket and shorts of the same fabrication. Similar to Saul Nash, crochet is boldly used to contrast the smoother linen textures.
While all designers approached next year’s trends with different color palettes and fabrications, it’s apparent that come summer 2024 menswear will be embracing style in a light-hearted way. We’re sure to see lots of baring of skin under crocheted tops and sheer, breezy fabrics, along with not-so subtle beach and swim motifs. Summer, after all, is meant to be fun, but summer dressing is to be taken seriously.
Written by Kathryn Sohm from GLITCH Magazine
Edited by GLITCH Team