This Fall-Winter 2024 collection is highly symbolic for the founders of Drôle de Monsieur, Dany dos Santos and Maxime Schwab: today marks the brand’s first ever fashion show, almost exactly 10 years after its birth in the suburbs of Dijon, a provincial town removed from the sound and the fury of the big city life
A creative world: off the beaten track, far from the Parisian fashion scene
This is how they built their creative world: off the beaten track, far from the Parisian fashion scene. They created a universe where all their references could meet, imbued with a unique atmosphere and a penchant for nostalgia, striking a delicate balance between minimalism and maximalism, elegance and opulence, ideas that were immediately identified as key themes for the brand’s storytelling.
This “theater of dreams” could have come straight out of the mind of Renzo Mongiardino, an icon of 20th century Italian architecture. It made perfect sense that the lead figure of decorative architecture would be chosen as the main inspiration for this first show.
A master of ornamentation, mixing genres and eras with utter brilliance, this former set designer managed to conjure up “the corrosive spirit of melancholy” at a time when modernism was all the rage.
In keeping with this Proustian vision of nostalgia, Drôle de Monsieur’s Fall-Winter 2024 collection is a true alchemy of styles, combining inspirations and eras to bring together sartorial cultures that have always been opposed: the ornamental opulence of the Seventies and Nineties normcore minimalism. Just like Renzo, who created homes for both Gianni Versace and Jil Sander, the silhouettes of this collection could be spotted on a wide range of characters, from Sylvester Stallone to Sean “Puffy” Combs, from Luciano Pavarotti to the Bee Gees.
Openly versatile, the silhouettes are an ode to a blissful past:
Memories, real or imagined, create influences that are woven together, connecting and building on each other in an intentional mix of genres. A full denim look, macadam cowboy-style, contrasts with a head-to-toe Studio 54-inspired attire. Ties and gloves are a common thread, adding final touches that oscillate between the old-fashioned and the post-gangster. The allure is falsely preppy, worn with an over-the-top swagger. Mongiardino’s signature opulence makes a couple of appearances, a reminder that there can be beauty in exaggeration.
While the space clearly pays tribute to the universe of the transalpine architect – both in its theatricality and heavy ornamentation – the looks themselves are built around personalities, real-life people, guided by the central idea that clothes are made to be worn, again, always… respecting in that sense the purest tradition of ready-to-wear.
Photos Model backstage at the Drole De Monsieur fashion show in Paris, Fall Winter 2024 Menswear Fashion Week Photos by Valerio Mezzanotti