Sunday, March 29, 2009
Men in skirts
A Filipino designer, Geof Gonzales, approached me, seeking help on his thesis on "gendered clothing", or quite simply, on men in skirts. I thought it a great coincidence that, not only have I been mulling over the matter quite recently (I posted something short, before: What it feels for a boy), but Fantastic Man, one of my favorite magazines (probably the only one I consume from cover to cover), has also featured men in skirts in its Spring 2009 issue.
Photographer Mr. Jason Pietra wears a blue-and-white shirt by Paul Smith, a silver tie by Louis Vuitton and an apron-fronted navy skirt by Soar. The length of the skirt is on the right side of demure, its strictness to the body making it highly appropriate. The socks are by Pantherella, while the navy lace-ups by Jil Sander punctuate the whole outfit.
While skirts are certainly not for everybody, I am glad that this editorial by Fantastic Man seeks to broaden the range of possibilities - showing other men that wearing skirts doesn't necessarily require one to also wear pumps and carry Birkins on the crook of one's arm.
A smart, casual skirt look - full-time model Mr. Simon Clarke is wearing a black cotton polo shirt by Y-3 which handily has its own skirt attached. The skirt has a slightly shorter length and enough swing to make it a leisure time essential. Turning up the power is a Dunhill double-breasted suit jacket with statement-making buttons, and brown lace-ups by Prada. The pushed-down black ribbed socks are from Falke.
Though the butch treatment may at first be a difficult proposition, it opens a venue for those bored of pants, or those who want a totally different silhouette, without relying on shoulder pads, huge proportions, or bulks of fabric.
A pleat-fronted and knee-length skirt by Kostas Murkudis is here worn by Jason, its side pockets making it an ideal option for everyday city-wear. The boxy jacket is by Prada, which is worn over a J.Lindeberg fine-rib sweater. The belt is by Dunhill, the socks by Falke, and just look at those wingtips - grosgrain trimmed, by Thom Browne.
Daniel Riera and Jodie Riera have made sure that the feel of work, industry, and sobriety are present in each shot by placing the men before bricked façades.
Comme des Garçons have come up with an intriguing kilt, here worn by Simon. By shedding the plaid and rendering it white, it has the air of traditional dress while looking the perfect skirt for summer vacations. The bomber with utility pockets is by Dunhill, which is worn over a perfect white cotton t-shirt from Sunpel. Simon wears navy socks by Pantherella, which match the navy shoes by Jil Sander.
There is nothing flimsy about the type of men these images represent. They are sturdy and want you to treat them seriously.
Beekeeper Mr. Chris Miller cuts a fine figure in what some might call 'skorts', a skirt/shorts hybrid, the shorts being visible from behind. It's the work of Thom Browne, who is also resposnible for this greay suit jacket and the black suede shoes. The polo shirt is by Stone Island; the socks are from Falke.
'Men in skirts', Fantastic Man No. 9, Spring Summer 2009
Photographed by Daniel Riera, Styled by Jodie Barns
Mr. Dominique Moreau, a French campaigner for male skirt rights, is one such man.
Mr. Dominique Moreau is president of the 30-strong French campaigning body Hommes en Jupe (or 'Men in Skirt'). Here he is wearing his own 'Roskilde' skirt from Anderslandinger.com and his own sandals, which are complemented by a t-shirt from American Apparel.
Photographed by Paul Wetherell
'L'homme en jupe', Fantastic Man No. 9, Spring Summer 2009
Also Scottsman Sir Sean Connery, even though I'm sure he doesn't anymore think about earning anyone's respect.
Nor does Louis Vuitton designer Marc Jacobs, who has made skirts his outfit staple for the last two seasons' shows.
They are his own personal conviction of the moment. Not that surprising given he's responsible for recent Marc Jacobs ads showing Cole Mohr wearing dresses and toting handbags.
Not all skirt-wearing men though opt for them because they want to exert a certain influence or want to be different. The Indian dhoti has been part of traditional Hindu dress, which Indian men still wear today.
Sufis, or dervishes, wear them during their ritual dance, which shows ecstacy within the religious experience.
The tradition of men wearing skirts may have been brought about by culture or religion passed through the generations. But for others for whom men wearing skirts is not the norm, the practice has been wielded as a political weapon.
'Seeing double', WestEast issue 26, Autumn 2008
Necklace, Christian Dior; skirt, Chanel; shoes, Dior Homme; boots, Christian Louboutin; skirt, Fendi; gloves, Burberry Prorsum; boots, Doc Martens
It has been used to question and overturn stereotypes - sometimes by the literal exchanging of gender roles and public images.
Shoes, Prada; shoes, Gucci; dress, Prada
For this editorial by West East magazine, dresses have been taken off the back of a woman and put on two men.
Skirt, Loewe; belt, Gucci; shoes, Louis Vuitton; bracelet, Gotti; sandals, Jimmy Choo; dress, Miu Miu; boots, Yves Saint Laurent
Twin boys, if you want to be accurate.
Dress, Yves Saint Laurent; tie with belt, Prada; shoes, Diesel; leggings, Fogal
Interesting that by retaining her heels, the naked woman in the shoot still exerts her power.
It is the men who are tentative.
Dress, Valentino; necklace, Burberry Prorsum
Since it is their narrowness and limitation that have been trampled upon.
Shoes, Louis Vuitton
For the boys, wearing skirts and dresses appear to be a game.
Shoes, Celine; coat, Christian Dior; boots, Dior Homme; leggings, stylist's own
They may never be able to master the influence a woman can yield by wearing a skirt or a dress.
Dress, Christian Dior; necklace, Louis Vuitton; shoes, Miu Miu
The editorial is an adventure in inversion - fun, a little poignant, and even bearing a lesson.
Coat, Burberry Prorsum; shoes, Prada; leggings, Fogal
Women can wear suits and pants and command the power of a man, but men can not do the same.
Shoes, Marnifv Z.
Photography: Wing Shya, Réalisation: Sean Kunjambu
But that of course doesn't mean that willing surrender on the part of a man has no place.
From 'L-O-V-E', Vman Spring Summer 2008
In this editorial by VMan, the relationship between the two sexes is more pronounced.
The man becomes vulnerable by looking awkward in a dress.
He is rendered powerless by a woman who also wears feminine garb, because masculinity has been humiliated and diminished by its inflexibility.
Returning to a normal power scene, one cannot help see another angle into seemingly innocent but ultimately manipulative feminine wiles that tip the perceived imbalance.
It is another thing for fashion to explore the gray areas between images of gender.
Prada showed "waffle cummerbunds" that looked like bikinis together with halter-like tops for its Fall 2008 show.
Of course, the little skirts and tutus may have only been a stylistic touch.
But they are meant to push the concept of ambiguity and openess and vulnerability.
Of course, Miuccia Prada may have only done it to exert a point about the "feminine" fabrics of the clothes or their fit, or she may have only been thinking of a catchy way to present the clothes.
But devoid of the considerations of power, it may very well have been only about experimentation and fun.
As in the case of some of the pieces from Alexander McQueen's Spring 2009 collection.
Does the two-tone theme also touch on androgyny?
Speaking about fun, this editorial is all about it.
'Max and Moritz', Arena Homme Plus 29, Summer Autumn 2008
Luke wears black tunic shirt by Givenchy; turquoise latex gloves and layered tartan kilts, stylist's own. Cole wears white tunic shirt by Givenchy; red latex gloves and layered tartan kilts, stylist's own
Stylist Panos Yiapanis mixes, layers, and matches his tartan skirts to accompany piles upon piles of the season's pieces.
Luke wears red seersucker blazer by Hermes; navy cardigan by Polo Ralph Lauren; burgundy print shirt by Junya Watanabe; pale blue shirt by Ralph Lauren; vintage steel-toed Doc Martens by Raf Simons; tartan kilts, stylist's own; PVC trousers commissioned by stylist
Cole wears black seersucker blazer by Hermes; cream jumper by Polo Ralph Lauren; cream print shirt by Junya Watanabe; pale blue shirt by Ralph Lauren; vintage velcro zip boots by Raf Simons; tartan kilts, stylist's own; rubber trousers commissioned by stylist
The mixing and matching of tartan skirts shows the feminine pieces can go well with a variety of outfits.
Luke wears gray bandage jumper by Raf Simons; vintage steel-toed Doc Martens by Raf Simons; layered tartan kilts; stylist's own; purple neoprene trousers commissioned by the stylist
Cole wears beige and black bandage jumper and mock croc buckled shoes both by Raf Simons; layered tartan kilts; stylist's own; red neoprene trousers commissioned by the stylist
Of course the patterns do a lot in serving as accents, but they totally refresh the silhouettes.
Luke wears navy and black striped blazer by Lanvin; vintage green plaid shirt by Pendleton; green tartan shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren; teal neoprene trousers by Burberry; yellow velcro boots by Raf Simons; green tartan sash, green tartan kilt, and green braces, stylist's own
Cole wears brown and burgundy striped blazer by Dries Van Noten; vintage brown shirt by Pendleton; black and white tartan shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren; brown neoprene trousers by Burberry; white velcro boots by Raf Simons; brown and red tartan sash, brown and red tartan kilt and burgundy braces, stylist's own
Green latex trousers have also been commissioned by Yiapanis, sans skirts, just so that you'll see.
Cole wears beige knit jumper and white waffle cummerbund both by Prada; ecclesiastical hat and black pom-poms, stylist's own; green latex trousers commissioned by stylist
Luke wears knit jumper and black cotton bib both by Prada; ecclesiastical hat and white pom-poms, stylist's own; blue latex trousers commissioned by stylist
After all, Luke and Cole were the IT boy models of 2008. Enough license to appear in anything. Play any prank on the public's conservative sentiments.
They appear as brothers, not only in tartans and latex, but also in PVC and rubber.
With stripes, the tartans almost do not look like a skirt.
Brown and gray striped jumper and gray dog-tooth blazer both by Givenchy; striped trousers by Vivienne Westwood; brown lace-up shoes by Raf Simons; layered tartan kilts, stylist's own
With tight synthetic trousers undeniably so.
Luke wears brown pinstriped blazer by Hermes; navy cardigan by Polo Ralph Lauren; burgundy print shirt by Junya Watanabe; pale blue shirt by Ralph Lauren; vintage steel-toed Doc Martens by Raf Simons; tartan kilts, stylsit's own; PVC trousers commissioned by stylist
Cole wears black pinstriped blazer by Hermes; cream jumper by Polo Ralph Lauren; cream print shirt by Junya Watanabe; [a;e blue shirt by Ralph Lauren; vintage velcro zip boots by Raf Simons; tartan kilts, stylist's own; rubber trousers commissioned by stylist
But where's the fun in not being obvious? (Almost forgot to mention the bright neoprene.)
Cole wears triple blazer by Comme des Garçons; pale blue striped shirt by Ralph Lauren; argyle socks by Falke; vintage steel-toed Doc Martens by Raf Simons; gray jumper and tartan kilt, stylist's own; yellow neoprene trousers commissioned by stylist
Luke wears triple blazer by Comme des Garçons; palce blue striped shirt by Ralph Lauren; black winklepickers by Pennangalon; red jumper and tartan kil, stylist's own; red neoprene trousers commissioned by stylist
All hail the skirt!
Luke wears black tunic by Givenchy; turquoise latex gloves and layered tartan kilts, stylist's own
In autumn, they can add warmth to your nethers.
Cole wears brown mesh scar, gray jumper, and gray knit trousers all by Dolce & Gabbana; vintage steel-toed Doc martens by Raf Simons; layered tartan kilts and red latex gloves, stylist's own
Luke wears black mesh scarf, black jumper, and black knit trousers all by Dolce & Gabbana; vintage velcro zip boots by Raf Simons; layered tartan kilts and turquoise latex gloves, stylist's own
Pray that the anti-skirt brigade see the light.
Navy striped blazer by DSquared; gray waistcoat by Giorgio Armani; striped sky blue shirt by Diesel; vintage steel-toed Doc Martens by Raf Simons; yellow neoprene trousers commissioned by stylist
Navy and gray striped jumper by Givenchy; gray flecked blazer by Raf Simons; patterned trousers by Vivienne Westwood; vintage steel-toed Doc Martens by Raf Simons; layered tartan kilts, stylist's own
I'm sure more than a few are just afraid to admit they are drawn to the issue.
Luke wears navy and black striped blazer, white silk shirt, and blue silk bow tie by Lanvin; green tartan shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren; teal neoprene trousers by Burberry; black leather shoes by Pennangalon; green tartan kilt and green braces, stylist's own
Cole wears brown and burgundy striped blazer by Dries Van Noten; black and white tartan shirt by Polo Ralph Lauren; gray silk shirt bib and green silk bowtie by Lanvin; brown neoprene trousers by Burberry; white leather shoes by Pennangalon; brown and red tartan kilt and burgundy braces, stylist's own
Nothing scary about skirts. Just as long as you don't forget your undies.
Luke wears black tunic shirt by Givenchy; turquoise latex gloves and layered tartan kilts, stylist's own
Cole wears white tunic shirt by Givenchy; red latex gloves and layered tartan kilts, stylist's own
Nothing glum about them.
Luke wears marble print rollnecked jumper, marble print blazer and marble print trousers all by Jil Sander; black shirt by John Richmond; black winklepickers by Pennangalon; black latex gloves and layered tartan kilts, stylist's own
Cole wears marble print jumper, marble print shirt, and marble print trousers all by Jil Sander; black winklepickers by Pennangalon; red latex gloves and layered tartan kilts, stylist's own
It's time to turn things upside down. Give them a try. No need for pom-poms to convince you.
Photographed by Juergen Teller
Fashion by Panos Yiapanis
Of course, there are some that will always take the exception, because they think skirts are nothing but effeminate and are badges of a third gender.
Just to show that it is really up to a person to project what he wants others to perceive - that a man can wear a skirt and still be a man - here is a darker editorial that reveals that it is what is underneath (in this case ordinary and football shoulder pads and corsets) that always emerges.
'Batty Boy', Arena Homme Plus 27, Summer Autumn 2007
Gareth wears oversized silver sweater, white shirt, and black trousers all by Dolce & Gabbana; American football shoulder pads by MH-UK; black pantent high-heeled shoes by Showgirls Latex Boutique
Skirts and heels are not the only things that betray an inner darkness.
Jeanette wears black harness dress by Giles; tights by Falke; black patent triple-strap high-heeled shoes by Paradiso Boudoir
Not even your coat can hide it. (You appear with a large hat even if you have nothing on.)
Gareth wears rubber coat by Alexander McQueen; women's neckpiece by Louis Vuitton; tights by Falke; women's paper hat by Alexander McQueen
You can be tame or agressive no matter what you're wearing.
Gareth wears women's suit jacket by Jean Paul Gaultier; black gladiator helmet from Rellik
It is up to you to carry the initiative on your shoulder.
Jeanette wears t-shirt and trousers both by Bottega Veneta; American football shoulder pads by MH-UK
Be different, be more you, instead of hiding under your constraining pants or trousers.
Gareth wears metallic bronze ski-suit by Dolce & Gabbana; American football shoulder pads by MH-UK
Clear the mist of uniformity.
Gareth wears women's jacket by Louis Vuitton; cropped black trousers by Louis Vuitton; women's hat by John Galliano
Be your own style king.
Jeanette wears shirt by Dior Homme; women's headpiece by Stephen Jones for Giles
No use being shy, though that doesn't mean you can't be understated wearing a skirt. (Just as this outfit is, with heels.)
Gareth wears white shirt by Jil Sander; women's black trousers by Miu Miu; women's body with shoulder pads (worn beneath) by Maison Martin Margiela; cowboy hat by Vivienne Westwood; socks by Falke; black patent high-heeled shoes by Showgirls Latex Boutique
What is important is for you to look into yourself to determine exactly how you want your skirt to serve you - casual, serious, fun, flippant, religious, or even traditional?
Gareth wears women dress by Vivienne Westwood; women's glasses by Dolce & Gabbana
You will decide, with head held high.
Gareth wears black over sized trench coat by J.Lindeberg; American football shoulder pads by MH-UK; black corset (worn beneath) by Rawhide Corsets; rubber boots by Natacha Marro
Don't let prejudices that don't apply affect you.
Jeanette wears cape and pullover both by Fendi; women's body with shoulder pads (worn beneath) by Maison Martin Margiela; women's headpiece by Stephen Jones for Giles
Crow out your style. Don't dismiss it with just another shrug.
Gareth wears oversized waffle-knit sweater by Burberry; American football shoulder pads by MH-UK; black corset (worn beneath) by Rawhide Corsets; black patent heels by Showgirls Latex Boutique; tights by Falke; feather headpiece by Stephen Jones
Photography Sølve Sundsbø, Fashion Katie Grand