Every once in a while I get sucked into the bizarre and somewhat amusing spectacle that is men’s high fashion, almost as bizarre and amusing as the spectacle that is women’s high fashion. Where else are you going to find smoldering nubile men devoid of body hair, squinting gravely underneath dramatic brows, strutting their stuff in strapless vinyl fringe tops or gauzy layered tunic dresses over skimpy shorts?
(Looks from the Alexander McQueen and Prada Spring 2009 collection).
On the other hand, I welcome any move towards shunning gender stereotypes and blurring the idea of gender-appropriate wear. I mean, neither masculinity nor femininity should be prisons in which the fashion czars throw us for life, right? A man or a woman is allowed the right to play and find the right mix for him or her self. Women experiment with masculine gear all the time, after all. But here’s where I get puzzled: you can put Angelina in a man’s suit and everybody would think it’s sexy, but stick a flower on a man’s suit, it’d better be for a wedding, or he’s going to scream murder! As a result, most man’s clothes (I’m talking men who are gainfully employed and are not pimps or rock stars) are conservative at best, dull at worst; sometimes elegant, sometimes just run of the mill.
Same goes for men’s shoes, whose lack of imagination I’m pretty sure The Manolo decried at one point.
Which is why I was a little tickled to see this on the runway:
Flower-embroidered sneakers from Gucci and bronze patent mandals from McQueen. Granted, not something I would see my husband wear any time soon, but something I could admire in an otherwise well-dressed man. Especially those mandals, a concept I usually abhor, but I kinda dig in this particular incarnation. And why should I not? Seriously, I’m opening the question here: WHY NOT?