Menswear has always been a mystery. Where the shapes and silhouettes of women change every other week, the image of the perfect man hasn't really changed in decades. Maybe even centuries. Menswear is as conservative as can be. Even I must admit that I'm suffering from what one might call the dandy-flu. But who knows? Tides are changing as we speak. The latest menswear runway shows last month, offered us a whole new perspective for the upcoming autumn winter season 2013/2014...
Not nearly enough men like to look sharp nowadays. And for no good reason, sharp somehow always means conservative/old-fashioned. A perfect cut, two-button, blazer with a fresh pair of pressed trousers and a clean blouse. Few men are daring enough to experiment with patterns and most men stick to the good old fashioned black or grey suit.
Now on one hand we could say: "Hallelujah praise the lord for all the men who are well dressed!" Obviously there are also a lot of men who completely refuse to dress themselves properly. After the 1950's it suddenly became "un-cool" and "un-man-like" for men to pay any kind of attention to their appearance. So we might call it a positive thing that menswear and the way men dress, are finally becoming a little bit more important again.
On the other hand, if we would describe the menswear nowadays we would only need one word: dull.
The suit is still a suit. A modern suit that was made today looks almost exactly the same as a suit made in the 1950's or even the 1920's. If a man wants to look sharp and sophisticated, we somehow always turn to clothes worn in the past. Why is it so hard to look elegant, stylish and classy in a suit that resembles today's modern society. Why is it possible for women to look modern, sophisticated and sharp by wearing things never seen before in the entire fashion-history? Why does this seem impossible to do for men?
Maybe it's because Italy is still the centre of the menswear-world. And weather we like it or not, Italians are incredibly conservative.
I must admit: I'm guilty as charged. I also dress like a conservative Italian dandy, wearing blazers, suits, (bow)ties. Nothing really revolutionary, except some strange bold colors. I kind of blame the highstreet fashion stores like Zara and H&M for selling nothing but simple basic blazers. Other brands are just way out of my budget. That's why I'm recently relying on vintage shopping so much. But I also think that the sharp dandy-way I dress now, at the age of 17, will help me to develop my style for the future. When it comes to dressing myself properly, I'm way ahead of most other people my age. I obviously want to keep renewing myself and the conservative way I dress now will certainly help me to create both sophisticated and revolutionary outfits in the future. If only more young men my age started working on their personal style.
Luckily times are changing. Very very slowly I must say, but change is definitely coming. As we can see on the latest runway shows. More and more designers are starting to add little playfull touches in their menswear collections. Now we here's to hoping that these touches are the start of a whole new menswear-era and not just some silly gimmicks to upgrade the shows. Here are some of my favorites for this season:
One of my greatest inspirations is Rick Owens. He is one of the few designers who has been able to let loose of modern western standards in fashion. He's revolutionary in menswear as well as his collections for women. He shows us that fashion is art and that we do not have to use the same old customs to create clean sophisticated clothing. Rick Owens offers us a fresh look on fashion and I love it. His creations might look strange at first but as you take a closer look you'll find that the cut, the patterns and the designs are just amazing. You can't deny the fact that there's a certain elegance in his work. I just wish he became more well-known so that people started wearing his clothes more often. That way we can start our way to the future.
Jean Paul Gaultier, known for his rebelliousness, created a striptease on the catwalk. He was showing some daring pieces like rib-case blouses and blazers or that one-half biker jacket. I certainly like the high waisted trousers, the use of lace and even some sort of skirt which I totally liked.
Valentino came up with the idea of a cape. I love capes since they totally change the whole silhouette of a man. Plus they used my all time favorite tartan combination of navy and green. Not very revolutionary, but for once I'm willing to oversee that fact.
Louis Vuitton didn't make use of any new styles or designs. The only thing I loved about the show was the use of animal prints. I recently discovered my love for anything furry or animal and apart from my zebra socks, puma clutch and leopard shirt I am definitely in desperate need of more animals in my wardrobe.
Saint-Laurant Paris (former YSL) came up with the ever lasting boho trend, again. I hope I'm speaking for most of the men when I say that we're done with the endless hipster trend. Nonetheless I'd like to give them a shout-out because of the animal prints!
Now the leading brands in menswear are, in my opinion, Prada, Lanvin and Dior.
Who's shows were surprisingly dull.
Prada decided to create an air of nonchalance by tucking one side of the shirt in their trousers and leaving one side out. Or leaving one side of the collar in your sweater and leaving one side out. Both options are neither stylish, nor revolutionary. That's just the "I wasn't paying attention this morning-look". It wasn't all bad though. I must give some credit to the amazing stage and I really adore the new color(combination)s Prada used. Plus I think I really want one of those horizontal-collar t-shirts as a new wardrobe-basic.
Lanvin decided (like many other brands e.g. John Galliano and Fendi) that it was time to start playing with proportions. Like many brands did last season in their women's collections, Lanvin came up with an oversized coat. The idea of an oversized coat was so important to them that they decided to both open and close the show with almost the exact same coat. They also came up with these hideous sneakers which apparently everybody loved except me. Now don't get me wrong, I love sneakers (I never wear them. Quite a scandal actually) but these things were an absolute nightmare.
Last (and actually also the least): Dior. The show was clean. The cuts were great. The usage of zippers in stead of buttons was quite funny and some items were very cool but the overall show was just plain boring. The seatbelt-belts were a catch but didn't make any difference to the dull-ness of the show.
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