Thursday, September 11, 2008

What it feels like for a boy

Wonderful lapel and collar, shoulders. I wonder if menswear resubsumes interpretations from womenswear. It would be a pity if it didn't.

Time and again designers voyage into explorations of the androgynous, paring away details or exaggerating. Do these become more daring and provocative as society becomes more open?

Or as certain individuals cast their influence?

Below is a scene from the movie The Cement Garden, where the adolescent Charlotte Gainsbourg mentions the lines sampled by Madonna to introduce her song "What It Feels Like for a Girl":

Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short, wear shirts and boots because it's okay to be a boy. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, because you think that being a girl is degrading. But secretly, you'd love to know what it is like, wouldn't you? What it feels like for a girl?

Certainly, not all men harbor these secrets. But it is also true that the pressure to conform among the male species can be overbearing.

What does it mean to break loose from these boundaries to cross the border?

Cole Mohr in a Marc by Marc Jacobs 2008 Fall/Winter campaign. He also does the men's collection for the season.

Marc Jacobs wearing a tartan kilt during the Marc by Marc Jacobs 2009 Spring/Summer show and in Interview Magazine's June/July 2008 issue, as Andy Warhol.

A woman said in one of the online fashion forums that she would never wear a certain Marc by Marc Jacobs dress after seeing Cole Mohr in it.

Call it insecurity or revulsion, but while some find this form of expression in bad taste, others take it as rebellion with an edge.

What did the original Andy Warhol and David Bowie mean for their generation?

What do the images they left mean to us, who live in a time when decadence almost always means merely luxury and money?

Given these impressions, how then should we take Thom Browne's new 2009 Spring/Summer show with its skirt-like shorts, sari-flap pants, and frippery that look like grass-skirts?

Play: poking at men's egos, dropping their pants, and inflating their suits with tutus.

Apparently, we are only left with irony.

Even so, Browne's signature bending of form and structure has actually widened the range of masculine expression. Off-runway of course, and without the ballerina props that no matter what I say can't hide intended humor.

How can you repress a smile when the world has been turned upside down even without the help of heels, mascara, and quilted purses?

Photos from Face Hunter, dans-paris (now Garance Dore), and

Expect to find Charlotte Gainsbourg again on these pages.


Prasoon Joshi said...

You are a rock star for writing this article. Loved it!
The world is a prejudiced place where people are afraid of giving away even a slightest hint of being weak and women/emotions/peace are considered signs of weakness by those in command.
Thanks for this article.

mgodoy said...

Love it, so true...
"you'll love to know what it's like? wouldnt you?"

Anonymous said...

Les comparto este comentario que halle en Internet y me pareció muy interesante. Las faldas solo tiene dos inconvenientes; para el varón o para la mujer da igual.
Lo que pasa es que la falda es mal diseñada, o mal elaborada; si es muy corta, no le tapa nada y se la levanta el viento. Y si es muy estrecha o angosta no le deja caminar o subir las escalas. Pero una FALDA a la rodilla, y con su respectiva ENAGUA, es lo mas confortable decente y saludable, en especial para los varones.
Las faldas para los caballeros son una NECESIDAD, por salud y por comodidad; ninguna parte del cuerpo del varón se maltrata o se magulla tanto como los genitales; el calzoncillo bóxer, hace las veces de una férula (inmoviliza, y maltrata los genitales), el tiro del pantalón incomoda, y la correa o cinturón funciona como un torniquete, y por mala irrigacion sanguínea afecta: el aparato digestivo, el sistema urinario, el aparato reproductor, y mucho mas. Lo mas indicado adecuado, saludable, y cómodo para vestirse un hombre es una falda o un vestido con falda. El pantalón es una tortura. Las enfermedades como la impotencia, la esterilidad, problemas de próstata, y posiblemente el cáncer del testículo estén muy relacionados con el uso del bóxer ajustado, el pantalón y sus aperos accesorios. Lo mas conveniente y apropiado para vestirse un caballero es usar FALDA, o un vestido con falda. Muchas gracias por su atención, y por pensar en mejorar la salud y la calidad de vida de las personas.