FAN­TAS­TIC Mr. WES

DA MAN - Style - - Flashback -

Sea­son af­ter sea­son, fash­ion de­sign­ers have been cit­ing di­rec­tor Wes An­der­son as a source of in­spi­ra­tion. His cult movies like “The Royal Te­nen­baums,” “Fan­tas­tic Mr. Fox,” “Moon­rise King­dom” and “The Grand Bu­dapest Ho­tel” are of­ten set in sur­real set­tings pop­u­lated by en­chant­ingly dandy char­ac­ters who pro­gres­sively trans­form the way they look as they dis­cover new things or roam new worlds. The epit­ome of those prop­er­ties is the quirky shot above that slaps to­gether for­mal wear, eth­nic ac­ces­sories and trav­el­ing es­sen­tials in an In­dian train wagon.

The state of menswear to­day couldn’t be any dif­fer­ent from the cul­tural hodge­podge in this im­age. The sense of global fash­ion has fi­nally come true as the in­cor­po­ra­tion of In­dian fab­rics, ori­en­tal icono­gra­phies and western styling, just to name a few, come to­gether on the run­ways and be­yond. What was called a sporty sil­hou­ette a few sea­sons ago has now de­vel­oped into “ath­leisure,” while cur­rent lux­ury wear has be­come par­tic­u­larly fit­ting for glo­be­trot­ting. Even more sur­pris­ing is the per­sis­tent push to­ward gen­der­less cloth­ing: Pure mas­culin­ity holds no ground in sar­to­rial mat­ters.

For a style ob­server, all this might look like the un­ex­pected evo­lu­tion of what was pre­vi­ously con­sid­ered a con­ser­va­tive in­dus­try. Maybe menswear is wan­der­ing off at the mo­ment, ven­tur­ing into the East­ern ter­ri­to­ries and seek­ing to adopt a lit­tle fem­i­nin­ity along the way. But fret not; the fu­ture could just be as what Jack Whit­man of “The Dar­jeel­ing Lim­ited” once said: “How can a train be lost? It’s on rails.”

A movie still from “The Dar­jeel­ing lim­ited” (2007) by Wes An­der­son

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