Are ‘Womanlike’ Looks The Future Of Men’s Fashion? I asked this question to one of the most successful male models in the world at the time.
Supermodel David Gandy sound out. I ask why are we seeing men on the catwalk wearing dresses? listen to what he says.
The most forceful wording of this theme came from the up-and-coming brand, JW Anderson. I was annoyed to see this at a catwalk in 2013, was overstepping the alpha masculine message at the time.
But it came as no surprise when I asked our hundreds of thousands of followers in 2020. About the Harry Polishes Vogue shoot. Men found it missed the mark regarding what men want to wear in fashion.
As the first man to be featured on the front side of Vogue. we found our followers, men wanted to see a man dressed in a suit not in a dress.
Define Confidence For men Versus Wearing a Arrange
Confidence. If there’s one thing these new androgynous looks demand of men, it’s that. This raises the question: have the über-masculine looks directing menswear up to now been signaling a crisis of male confidence?
Androgyny Was The New Black
Androgyny was the new black way back in 2013. Some way trends sneak up on you.
Others ring out loud and clear, as Spring ´14 shows. One trend sounded with all the deceptiveness of an air horn: androgyny is the new black.
The five-year-old label comprises collections for men and women, and designer Jonathan Anderson likes to flies the look of the two. Last season, for instance, Anderson showed pairs of ruffled shorts for men much like the ones in his Elasticity ’13 womenswear collection.
And this time, Anderson’s dominant silhouette was a lean tunic paired with uncertain, elongated trousers, another shape he’d begun to articulate in his previous womenswear show.
But the look that got eyebrows major and tongues wagging was Anderson’s male halter top: backless, semi-sheer, and floral patterned, the look was unavoidably effeminate. “Horrifying,” sneered The Daily Mail.
JW ANDERSON´S HALTER MEN´S TOPs
Anderson is upfront about the fact that he likes examination the boundaries between men’s and women’s clothes. But he insists that he’s not setting out to create controversy; for him, the gender-bending emerges organically, out of formal risk-taking.
“In a way, it’s merry that people had such a strong reaction to that look,” Anderson states. “I mean, that top started as a large raglan mac. And then we cut the sleeves off, and then we made it short. When you’re in the studio,” he goes on, “that kind of experimentation give the impressions normal. In fact, it’s the point. You’re playing with a piece of fabric, trying to create a new line, a new proportion. But then you now that to the world, on a runway, and it becomes this ‘thing.’”
A Pattern Forming
If Jonathan Anderson was an outlier, one mad inventor whipping up androgynous looks out of a surfeit of aesthetic zeal, that would be interesting. But what’s more interesting is the as a matter of actual fact that Anderson is not alone. Another London up-and-comer, Shaun Sampson, showed pale pink organza feed shorts and ‘skirts’ made to look like beach towels.
At Alexander McQueen, creative director Sarah Burton unobstructed the show with a fitted suit of white lace.
The Topman show featured fanciful cowboys and embroidered florals. At a fixed point, it started to feel unfair, or arbitrary, to think of those looks as ‘feminine’. I found myself wondering: who marked that men couldn’t wear lace? Or skirts, for that matter? Back in ancient Greece, guys were abrading togas, right? So when did all this vigilance around masculinity happen, exactly?
SARAH BURTON´S Petition OF LACE
Fashion Designers Views on Men Wearing A Dress
The reasons why fashion designers like to push the dress button for men tax a skirt.
“I feel like we’ve been in a really conservative moment,” notes Martine Rose, another London-based menswear conniver who tests gender conventions with her clothes.
“It’s so lazy, this way of thinking – that ‘real’ men wear this, but not that. I was extraordinarily influenced by [funk musician] Rick James, for this collection,” she continues, “and he was so sexy, so gangster, and wearing ruffled shirts and thigh-high red boots.
He wasn’t slackening his clothes define his sexuality. Or his masculinity.”
Rose’s new collection featured all manner of ‘feminine’ detail. What make off it intriguing, though, was the fact that the attitude of the clothes was so incontrovertibly masculine. Rose draws a great deal of arousal from sport, and beyond that, from the way even non-sporty guys wind up integrating athletic kit into their closets.
This season, she expanded that concept into lace-frilled running shorts and blouson trousers with the slothful slouch of tracksuit bottoms.
Crisis Of Confidence
“Footballers back in the seventies, they used to wear those not enough shorts,”.
“No one was questioning their manliness; other guys wanted to look like them, in fact. And they were provocative, those footballers. They had the confidence to show their bodies, and to be playful.”
When The Atlantic magazine publishes complete stories that trumpet ´The End Of Men´, it’s tempting to read the advent of Don Draper, style icon, as channeling nostalgia for an era when men were the breadwinners. In addition, the rise of earthy looks – lumberjack hipsters, and all that – could be symptomatic of revanchist idolatry of the ‘manly’ man, who would conditions, ever change a diaper.
TOPMAN GOES ROMANTIC AND FEMIMINE
But you could just as easily argue that Mad Men fetishists in the US are in the final analysis just sentimental for the days when America was coming up in the world. And all those guys in their Woolrich parkas and plaid ballocks, well, maybe their dreams are of working with the hard, physical matter of the world, rather than the e-stuff and iThings of our understood age.
Fine And Dandy
The point is, clothes can be complicated. They can tell a few stories, all at once. And so it’s entirely probable that there’s multitudinous to this gender-blurring fashion moment than gender.
Dandyism, wrote the 19th Century poet and essayist Charles Baudelaire, arises in times of transition. And at such moments, he asserted, “a certain number of men, disenchanted and leisured ‘outsiders’…may conceive the idea of fixing a new kind of aristocracy.”
What Baudelaire is talking about, of course, is taste. And when Jonathan Anderson make plains that his controversial halter tops were the product of his desire to create “a new line,” he’s talking about taste, too.
So is Charlie Casely-Hayford, co-founder of the comfort menswear brand Casely-Hayford, when he says that feminine elements give his brand’s natty suits a perceive of “refinement.”
This is also reinforced, by the daily style doses afforded by David ¨Dandy¨ Gandy.
Draughtsman Charlie Casely-Hayford
You could argue that what we’re seeing on menswear runways right now is the establishment of Baudelaire’s aristocracy of relish. The folks in the front row were perfectly blasé about the halter tops at JW Anderson’s show. Their focus was on the way Anderson fooled the look, and his conviction in selling it.
There’s a kind of ivory tower thinking at work in this, no doubt about it. But I’m docile to bet that, given some time, the public will come around to some version of this new unisex aesthetic. It’s proved before: as Martine Rose pointed out, there was a fey moment back in the seventies. And the feminine influence is already apparent in a couple of brands, like Casely-Hayford, that traffic in relatively conventional men’s clothes.
And Charlie Casely-Hayford agrees that, in loiter again and again, his customer will fully come round.
“We want to challenge our customer, but we don’t want to freak him out,” he says. “So every time, I’m asking myself – can we do a skirt? Will he understand? We’re almost there,” he adds. “But, you know, not quite yet.