IS FOR MAL WEAR DEAD-OR JU­ST RESTING?

VOGUE (Italy) - - CULTURE - By Sarah Mo­wer

It didn’t oc­cur to me that this was su­ch a hot- but ton to­pic i n the men­swear com­mu­ni­ty un­til la­st year, when I was sit­ting on a de­si­gner jud­ging com­mit­tee, whi­ch shal l re­main na­me­less (I sit on a lot). In the run­ning was a ta­len­ted young tai­lo­ring de­si­gner who I was ar­guing should win. Al l of a sud­den, a buyer stood up in f ront of the com­mit­tee and star­ted shou­ting. “But you don’t un­der­stand!” he yel led. “Young peo­ple on­ly want ca­sual­wear. It’s over!”

This i mpas­sio­ned man was wear ing a hoo­die, trac­k­pan­ts and trai­ners. He dres­sed as he spo­ke, and he was over 50. Wel l, I h ave no rea­son t o que­stion his s ales f igu­res, o r h is b elief t hat t he ca­sua­li­za­tion of men­swear has swept up to his ge­ne­ra­tion. But t he­re’s a lways a d an­ger i n s wee­ping ge­ne­ral iza­tions.

Is tai lo­ring dead? I don’t think so, for a lot of rea­sons. Ju­st as Esta­bl ish­ment fa­shion de­cla­res so­me­thing dead, you can ab­so­lu­te­ly bet that it’s about to co­me back. It be­co­mes the bac­kla­sh, the re­bel l ion, but ne­ver in a way that the Esta­bl ish­ment ex­pec­ts. That’s the joy of trac­king young fa­shion! So f ir­st, let’s look at the Esta­blish­ment itself: the two-pie­ce suit is stil l the lin­gua fran­ca of ma­le po­wer. Like it or not, it’s self-evi­dent that the blue bu­si­ness suit is the de­fault uni form of to­day’s cor­po­ra­te men, ban­kers and po­li­ti­cians. It’s exac­tly what you see bo­th Em­ma­nuel Ma­cron and Do­nald Trump wea­ring, two men of va­stly dif fe­ring age, sha­pe and po­li­tics. Even in the­se days when we su­spect the world is being run by sha­dowy geeks ma­ni­pu­la­ting al­go­ri­thms in hoo­dies and sweat­pan­ts, what did Cam­brid­ge Ana­ly­ti­ca’s Ale­xan­der Nix wear to ma­ke his pre­sen­ta­tions? A na­vy blue suit. And what did Mark Zuc­ker­berg turn up in to fa­ce que­stio­ning in Con­gress? Pre­ci­se­ly.

As for young men and the de­si­gners they ad­mi­re? I would ar­gue that on the gra­ph of avant-gar­de fa­shion, we hit peak hoo­die la­st year. Now, it’s about the rein­ven­tion and rein­te­gra­tion of for­mal wear. At this year’s Cen­tral Saint Mar­tins MA s how t he class of 2018 had fi­ve men­swear gra­dua­tes who ma­jo­red in tai­lo­ring. The slic­ke­st, Ar­chie Al­le­dMar­ti­nez, ma­de his who­le col­lec­tion, in­clu­ding lou­che tu­xe­dos, in knit. Mar­ti­ne Ro­se, the un­der­ground idol of Lon­don, de­vo­tes half of her col­lec­tion to sui­ts, the other half to sports­wear. Raf Si­mons’s fall col­lec­tion had chec­ked tweed sui­ts. Dem­na Gva­sa­lia’s fall col­lec­tion had the ul­ti­ma­te mo­der­ni­zed dou­ble-brea­sted bla­zers: not tai­lo­red, but moul­ded for a ra­zor-sharp si­lhouet­te.

What of de­si­gners real ly young boys ob­ses­si­ve­ly ca­re about, and wi l l stand in l ine d ay a nd n ight t o buy? See their he­ro, Go­sha Rub­chin­skiy’s ‘ f inal’ col­lec­tion. Yes the­re we­re track­sui­ts, foot­bal l shirts and par­kas.

But right in the midd­le was a poin­ter to so­mewhe­re el­se, a new di­rec­tion, the mer­ge. With an Adi­das lo­go on the brea­st, and the brand’s si­gna­tu­re white stri­pes on the shoul­der, the­re it was: a black t ai­lo­red suit.

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