It’s a Man’s World

Originally posted June 28, 2010

To me, men’s fashion has always been about as oxymoronic as a pretty ugly Hell’s Angel snacking on some jumbo shrimp, if you get my drift. I figured I should take a peek at what’s been happening during the Spring 2011 shows across the pond in Milan and Paris for the past couple of weeks to see if there is anything out there that could change my skeptical outlook.

Unfortunately for my retinas, what I found didn’t remedy the situation. In fact, it actually made me feel like one of those naysayers I make fun of—the ones who watch the women’s runway shows and say things like, “No one dresses like that in REAL life,” as they thumb through their latest J. Crew catalog. In other words, I must be missing something.

Allow me to present to you a couple of looks from Donatella and friends over there at Versace. Please tell me whom—other than Johnny Weir—this could possibly appeal to. I can’t even imagine David Beckham on his most metrosexual day thinking for one second that he should wear a sheer sleeveless blouse to watch  England from the sidelines. (Note: El Becks did look quite hot at the World Cup, cheering on the blokes from the bench in his rolled-up shirtsleeves and suit-vest look. Too bad they lost to those Germans.)

Maybe you know a man (straight or gay, because I really don’t think this is something you can immediately write off as being a case of “fashion is for the gays”) who would wear this yellow-pants and zebra-shirt ensemble from Balenciaga. But I will pay you two shiny nickels if you can get that same guy to show up in it in public. No, really—two whole shiny nickels.

I have never been a fan of Thom Browne’s Pee-wee Herman–esque suits. And I could never quite put my finger on why until I saw this modern Little Lord Fauntleroy getup. To me it screams, “I am your mother, and you will not wear long pants until you turn 37, young man. Now be a good boy, and get Mommy another vodka tonic.” Am I right, or am I right?

Over at Lanvin, Alber Elbaz—whose clothing for women makes me swoon—called his collection “an antidote to laziness,” but I’m pretty sure what he meant to say was, “Warrior jewelry for the effete, plus crazy Birkenstocks on your feet.”

Many moons ago during the heyday of the supermodel, Linda Evangelista was quoted as saying, “We don’t wake up for less than $10,000 a day,” in reference to the salaries of the supes, and she sparked debate in some circles about how relatively underpaid male models were. I have no idea what the going rate for a male model is today, but surely it can’t compensate for the emotional scarring that goes along with having to wear any of this stuff.


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