The Swans

Conner Ives took his 21st-century muses to 1970s New York
By Ella Joyce | Fashion | 19 February 2024

Yesterday, Conner Ives unveiled his FW24 collection among the Rococo-style interior and twinkling chandeliers of The Savoy’s opulent Lancaster Ballroom – a fitting backdrop for an ode to glamour, gossip and the girls who are his eternal muses. This season saw Ives wave goodbye to Y2k and take a leap into high society, transforming his low-rise jean-loving girlie into a fully-fledged party-hopping socialite. Transporting us back to Truman Capote’s reign in 1970s New York as the social pariah to the city’s elite, regaling stories of debutante balls and fostering a posse of women whom he affectionately referred to as his ‘swans’ –  Ives honoured the women who have become his swans for FW24.

The designer’s cast, which featured the likes of Alex Consani, Alva Claire, Precious Lee, Grace Burns and Ella Richards, embodied their roles perfectly as each paraded the runway with an air of drama that harked back to the hey-day of the 90s supermodel. Flirtation was high on the agenda as slinky silhouettes arrived in hues of powdery blue silk, snakeskin jumpsuits were paired with short gold sarongs and black evening gowns were perforated with lace cut-outs. Shearling trimmed outerwear was accompanied by classic light-wash denim as elevated rugby jerseys met figure-hugging skirts and voluminous furry hoods and scarves kept Ives’ swans warm as they prepared to party into the small hours.

On foot, Ives resumed his partnership with Jimmy Choo, working with archive silhouettes to bring to life a boot, mule, and slipper in chocolate lizard-embossed calfskin and hand-painted satin by artist Rosie Mennem. A continued focus on sustainability saw the American-born designer turn trash into treasure, crafting pieces from upcycled deadstock military surplus, safety pins collected from eBay sales, tapestries from the Qing Dynasty and a sheer white bridal look hand-embroidered with discarded Apple headphone cables sourced from an electronic factory, complete with an old-generation iPod in hand. As Ives took his bow and the show came to a close, it was palpable that this season marked a shift in the designer’s vision – one Truman Capote would be proud of.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Connor Ives WOMENS-FALL-WINTER-24