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Monday, 18 June 2012

Menswear Fashion Week and the Zoolander Effect.

It's MENSWEAR FASHION WEEK! Thanks, London, for making Menswear Fashion Week into a thing that exists in real life! (Note to new readers: I love menswear. More detail on that later.)

Christopher Shannon
So, I freely admit that I hate all coverage of "trends", but I'm already starting to notice that at Menswear Fashion Week, bright pink clothes are what I believe is generally known as A Thing. There is a lot of bright pink going on, is what I am saying. I think I can get behind pink shoes as A Thing for men to use to liven up their otherwise boring-ass wardrobes, but something tells me that the pink skirts-made-from-ties are not as likely to catch on.
Whenever I post about menswear I get people commenting all, "LOLLLL, that outfit is so terrible. What were they thinking??" which, you know, is sometimes a good point? But not always. Because when we look at menswear and think "LOLLLL", we're experiencing what I call the Zoolander Effect. In the (awesome) movie Zoolander, the main source of comedy is the idea that the fashion industry is ridiculous, and that the male-oriented fashion industry is extra-ridiculous. I mean, could you make a similar movie about a female supermodel? No! Because even though every womenswear trend in existence is objectively preposterous, we’re so used to it that we don’t even notice any more! Whereas when a man makes a living by looking sexy or outrageous, he's a clown.
I suspect that I'm going to be having this argument forever, but I must persevere because somebody has to take on the heroic task of explaining to people that they're being sexist idiots. The TL;DR version is that there is nothing intrinsically ridiculous about men dressing up. Although there is something intrinsically ridiculous about wearing a cape made from ties. Sorry, Christopher Shannon. Your model looks like he's wearing a rag mop.

E. Tautz
I luv this guy because he looks so serious and Oxbridge with his side-parted edwardian hair and PINK CAPE.
The title of this show was "School Colours For Cricket", which is a reference to an anecdote that combines imperialism, awful posh people, and testicles -- three of Britain's favourite sources of conflict and/or comedy! /o\

James Long
The quantity of baggy, belted long-shorts at Menswear Fashion Week was distressing. Especially when combined with this type of sleeveless '80s shirt.

Jonathan Saunders
What do I love about this collection? Only EVERYTHING! Sharp suits, sharp styling, slightly dangerous-looking men who may or may not be The Corinthian from the Sandman comics...!!

Jonathan Saunders really knows how to use colour. There was a whole rainbow of fruit-smoothie bright colours in this collection, but they're used in such a way that no one could suggest that they look over-the-top.
From Jonathan Saunders' "hot serial-killer" line.
J. W. Anderson
More pink! What did I say?
It's OK, you're allowed to laugh at these outfits. That isn't the Zoolander Effect in action. They might look a bit more ridiculous to our eyes because they're being modeled by men, but these outfits are really... not very good.
Honestly, I think I've already seen this all-sweaters-all-the-time outfit in one of those "Look at these hilarious 1970s fashion catalogues!" blogs.
For anyone wondering what man is likely to wear a sheer shirt-dress with boxers on underneath, the answer is Marc Jacobs, who totally wore one in real life for realsies earlier this month.

Terrible. '80s tracksuits mixed with cheap public-transport-upholstery colour schemes? And some kind of... mask thing...? IDEK.
For some reason there are a few menswear designers who really love making all the models wear masks and/or headdresses. I have no idea why. Perhaps they think it upgrades an outfit from "that's kinda bad" to "... but maybe it's ART"?


  1. I think Christopher Shannon has clearly been watching and getting inspiration from some morris dancers!

  2. I don't know what you're talking about, the tie poncho looks awesome to me. Also I kinda adore the second-to-last pic: inspired by the noble dandelion? (I remember you posting that other pic where he had similar headdress and kinda bronzish fluff on his arms, looked like an abstract eagle. kinda cool!)
    Cannot applaud the second Jonathan Saunders suit. It looks like an ugly sweater to me. Only extended full-body.

  3. YES, THANK YOU for denouncing the Zoolander effect. Otoh, what is happening, omg. That tie-ragmop! Poor guy. And this very last one looks like a degenerate Rorscharch from the Watchmen.

  4. Maybe the masks are because they aren't willing to show their faces in those outfits? :)

    But actually, these aren't all ridiculous. I can imagine wearing that pink cape. And the guy in the striped suit looks like David Tennant as Doctor Who - he was cool, right?

    In general though, I think I'll count my blessings that the fashion companies don't normally give us guys much attention... you can keep the crazy outfits to yourselves.

  5. Re: the pink cape - Definitely! I'm betting Andre Leon Talley, for one, has that already reserved for Himself!

  6. Nice article, I love the Zoolander stuff. Off topic but are you ever going to finish the Avengers stuff?

  7. Nice article, I love the Zoolander stuff. Off topic but are you ever going to finish the Avengers stuff?

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