Along with the “Teenage Dirtbag” meme on social media, there are high school musings on the catwalk that go beyond the candy-colored Mean Girls costumes. There was a preppy/boyish common thread running through the Spring 2023 men’s shows that were driven by skateboards at JW Anderson and ERL. Belgium’s Meryll Rogge leaned into the jock (as portrayed by Hollywood); prom looks were played with Thom Browne. Then there was All-In’s Debutante collection, presented at Collège-Lycée Jacques-Decour in Montmartre, which was a reasonable substitute for a teen-smelling gym in Anytown, America.
Benjamin Barron and Bror August, respectively American and Norwegian, and based in Paris, are the creators of this insider secret upcycling label. Maryam Nassir Zadeh was an early supporter, Lotta Volkova modeled in last season’s couture-inspired collection, and Inti Wang, Leon Dame, Issa Lish and Ceval were some of the faces who joined the spring release party today. (Among the “chaperones” of this event was the Swedish Fashion Council which helped the designers structure the brand as part of their talent incubator program.)
One of the reasons to celebrate was All-In’s long-awaited (at least by me) shoe launch. There were strappy sandals adorned with silver hearts and slip-ons with pointed toes and removable gaiters. Since the All-In pieces, made from vintage clothing, are one-of-a-kind pieces, the accessories allow fans to carve out a place for themselves within the brand.
The fandom, which showed in the teen idol’s dress made from a collage of t-shirts featuring Madonna, Janet Jackson and others, was one of the themes of the collection, Barron said. “I was inspired by this idea of a teenager sticking his idols on his bedroom wall; collecting the things or people that inspired them and trying to take on different parts of their identity that have already been watered down by other parts of the culture. Like someone who learns punk through Pink or hyper-femininity through Britney Spears. August added, “It’s this idea of someone trying different kinds of identities and styles for the first time and the failures that come with that experience, or at least how you don’t really know the meaning of that. You indulge in an aesthetic that you don’t really understand, and the teenager is an archetypal symbol of that idea.