Thursday, September 18, 2008

Skirting the Issue

Fashion, as dictated by the fashion capitals, has mined countless masculine archetypes to produce garments that purposely highlight virility, strength and power of men.

Of course, there are some designers who would oppose that and offer an alternative.

Prada f/w08

In her fascination about 'the fragility and vulnerability of men', Miuccia Prada proposed some delicate and awkward looks for her Fall/Winter 08 men's collection. There were some variations of tutu's, underwear straps peeking out of pants, back buttoning and bibs (bra?!) for Billy Elliott wannabe's.

CdG s/s09

Next year comes Rei Kawakubo's 'savage priests' with several permutations of the skirt from school-girl pleats as worn by Cole Mohr...

to almost bohemian looking (ay parang marami nyan sa Night Market)...

to full on long skirt with flaps.

Skirts are conventionally for females in North America and much of Europe although skirts have been part of Scottish men's traditional garb. Marc's grungy, punky version comes to mind.

Of course, fashion's fascination seems to be about counter culture: "to transgress conventional moral and social codes, to redefine the ideal of masculinity, and to inject novelty into male fashion." (Bravehearts: Men in Skirts)

There's really no link between the item of clothing and the masculinity or femininity of the wearer. It proved succesful in women where it's normal to see men-inspired clothes being designed for them. There's even the popular 'boyfriend' jeans. So why then there's so much resistance on the part of men?

I don't think Marc is less masculine in the picture. He even looks thuggish to me (Seen here wearing another skirt to close his succesful s/s09 womenswear show.)

Now Marc, a fashion designer working in a non-rigid place, could get away wearing one but I wonder if, say, a banker or a doctor? Does it make them less reliable?

I don't know ha. Because when we see someone wearing a traditional garb it becomes de facto acceptable. I mean technically priests wear dresses. There's conditioning at play here, right? We don't laugh at a Scot wearing a kilt or a Cambodian monk in flowing robes. We readily accept.

What do you think?

For now male skirt wearing remained firmly linked with ideas of effeminacy. I guess, for now it's for those who are secure with their masculinity; still remaining a novelty left for guys, bored stiff with the usual pants, perfect for harmless shock tactics. Let the staring begin!

Me in a Yohji Yamamoto skirt a few years ago.



Lyka Bergen said...

I cant wait for the time when men can wear heels and still manage to look masculine.

The Zen Bitch said...

i like to wear the khmer sarong ang burmese lungee around the house because they're just comfortable. they're basically wrap-around skirts. but outside? hmn, di pa yata. although one halloween in siem reap, my friends and i walked around pub street in full make-up & hair, wearing elvira-style black gowns and heels.

the spool artist said...

i thing it's only you and marc jacobs who can pull it off, don!

fuchsiaboy said...

lyka - it was en vogue during the 1800's but now you can actually have masculine heels from rick owens, goth darkness pa nga, so scary!

zen bitch - it takes a certain sensibility to do drag and it's coming from a different point of view.

spoolartist - hahahaha! well, i might pass on the trend muna. i've had some new perspective in my life and i just posted this for nostalgia.