It all began at a dinner for the editorial team to discuss the yet to be chosen theme for the issue of Vogue Hommes you are now holding. As ideas were batted around without any one being really convincing, the conversation suddenly gelled around the concept of “chic”. What does chic mean today? Who is chic? Who isn’t? Has cool done for chic? Can you be chic without looking old? Does anyone care about chic? What if chic were quite simply dead and buried? The discussion was spirited, even a tad rancorous, a sure sign that chic was worth devoting an entire issue to.
Then there were the Spring / Summer runway shows and the musical chairs, especially at the top of flagships like Dior and Louis Vuitton, plus the tidal wave of sportswear / streetwear sweeping all before it in virtually all the collections, including the most classic brands. Not to mention the deluge of trainers, put to every conceivable use. Never before had the codes and bounds of elegance been so thoroughly shaken and stirred.
This latest issue of Vogue Hommes sets out to scale the heights of chic and explore its new contours, monitor its developments closely and its ability to reflect contemporary issues: the breakdown of traditional genres, styles and hierarchies, and the quietly unstoppable transformation of what it means to be male. And you have to admit that, if it’s all about one’s aiming for the most authentic sense of selfhood, light years from any one–size–fits–all expression, chic will retain its aura and its power to raise the blood pressure. And also to feed the dream.