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Monday, September 10, 2012

Fashion Week IV -- The men

I'm just about through with this fashion kick. I realize that everybody already knows there is a huge disconnect between what one sees on a runway and what these fashion houses actually sell to the public. Still, it's fun to examine the mentality of the designers.

Here are a few styles from recent shows:

The late Alexander McQueen took a normal jacket and put piping on it, which makes it look vaguely like a bellhop uniform. Now there's no intrinsic reason that a suit with piping is any less visually appealing than a suit without. But why would anyone want to spend a lot of money just to look like a bellhop?

A lot of the McQueen outfits look vaguely like something that someone might have worn in another culture, in another era. Say, a Soviet satellite republic like Kazakhstan, circa 1962. But when you look closely, you see that every single element clashes with every other element: a gray jacket with gray plaid pants? Formal clothes with long johns showing? Sandals? A shirt buttoned all the way to the top with no necktie? Nah, not even Borat would be caught dead in that outfit.

This agnes b. (all small letters, like e.e. cummings) outfit is probably supposed to evoke a swaggering riverboat gambler. But I'm getting less of a "See you one and raise you two" vibe and more of a "See you in stall number two" vibe.

When Sean Connery made his first appearance as James Bond, he wore this tuxedo:

But what if he had worn this outfit by agnes b. instead?
Would the Bond movies have had a different tone? Would the ladies have found Bond as compelling? Would the bad guys have found him as formidable?

Do designers like Blaak Homme prefer it when we dye our hair to match their outfits?

Doesn't this Bottega Veneta outfit look like something one of the bad guys in a Batman comic book would wear? Like maybe The Joker? Or was this suit the designer's idea of a joke?

While I've always been partial to the suit jacket-and-short-pants-with-sandals look, I prefer to wear my tie outside my shirt.

Imagine yourself walking down the main street of your hometown in this outfit. Wouldn't you have to be a little bit more confident in your masculinity than you actually are in order to pull it off?

It's very important to me to know what's in and what's out each year. Thank goodness I have Gaspard Yurkievich to guide me, otherwise I might commit the cardinal sin of actually wearing a shirt under my suit.

Doesn't this guy from DSquared2 Menswear look a little as if he couldn't decide which one of the Village People he wanted to be?

The suit by Michel Bastian isn't bad, although it's too small for the model. But why overwhelm it with those ridiculous gloves AND the boutonniere AND the sunglasses AND the silly cap?

Bernhard Willhelm personifies how important it seems to be for these designers to see themselves as "creative." But creativity without logic or purpose isn't really creativity. It's just a pile of excrement arranged a different way.

(Some might think the outfit above too easy a target. My opinion: only a very skilled satirist -- such as myself -- can actually succeed in making it look silly.)

Why do so many designers feel the necessity to make clothes, like this John Galliano Jesus-in-a-dress outfit, which scream, "I'm gay"?

Perhaps the deeper question is, what is the relationship between being homosexual and wanting to wear these kinds of clothes? Why, exactly, does wanting to suck on another man's penis have to go hand in hand with preferring mauve and puce and flashy designs?

Or, conversely, why don't guys who like breasts and vaginas want to dress more colorfully (other than on a golf course or in their old age)? After all, male birds sport bright plumage in order to attract females. Maybe it's time for male humans to do likewise.

If wearing outfits like the one above were how guys proved their masculinity, would we see more of them?

My guess is yes.


Anonymous said...

You have definitely missed your calling in life! Start a blog commenting on fashion! Too funny!

John Craig said...

Thank you Donna.

I seemed to have missed my calling, whatever it was, but as far as blogging goes, I prefer this without-a-theme format. Appropriate for my without-a-theme life, I guess.

Anonymous said...

John--I have to agree with the previous commenter. You can be very, very funny and especially when you're just intending to be candid. Hope all is well, Brian

John Craig said...

Thank you Brian. Actually I was TRYING to be funny here, hope that was apparent. What had happened was I looked back at my August posts and realized I hadn't been funny, other than the Ryan Lochte fashion post, in quite a while. Then I happened to see a reference to Fashion Week in the news, so figured I might as well take advantage.

Don't worry, I'll go back to being bitter soon.

Anonymous said...

That was actually even funnier! B

Dave Moriarty said...

I thought I would be able to make a stunning entrance at the Wilton Y with any one of these lovely arrangements but i think the lifeguards would feel compelled to rescue me from whatever compelled me to feature any of those outfits.

what stuns me is somebody created that and then said to someone else " say whadddya think of this?" and now i have to wonder what series of events occurred where someone concluded yeah these are winners and gave the designer positive feedback

John Craig said...

Dave --
Ha! That's true, I hadn't even thought of that. It's actually a perfect illustration of "The Emperor's New Clothes" type of situation.

abby said...

Your blog is the first thing I read today and I think you just light up my day. First of all, these guys could have looked really manly if their designers are able to come up with an appropriate outfits for a manly man and not for doubtful man. Nevertheless, your blog is cool and keep it coming.

John Craig said...

Thank you Abby. You just lit up my evening.