MARKET MOVERS: LET’S HEAR IT FOR THE BOYS
Men’s has been buzzing for some time — and for spring ’19, several major womenswear designers introduced the category in runway shows and presentations alongside their women’s offerings.
Prabal Gurung made the biggest splash into the market with sporty but elegant pieces that complemented the colorful feminine frocks and sandals the designer showed at his globally-inspired show. “Growing up, I’d often experiment with mixing menswear and womenswear to tell the story that visually represented who I was,” the designer explained in an Instagram post on the new collection. And on-foot for the guys? A mandal supplied by Dr. Martens.
In Paris, for what is perhaps the most hotly anticipated show of the season, Hedi Slimane is set to debut menswear at Céline. Earlier this summer, French womenswear designer Simon Porte Jacquemus showed his first men’s collection (albeit barefoot). The Row also announced it would debut menswear, with tailored pieces going straight to retail in October.
Gender identity and fluidity continue to inspire creative talent, and the design trio behind Vaquera showed many of its most feminine looks (prom dresses and other school-inspired pieces) on teenage boys, who clomped down the runway in white high-heeled pumps.
Erdem’s collection was inspired by two famous 19th century cross-dressers — with models’ faces obscured beneath veiled bonnets. Shoes included pretty Victorian-style ankle boots and slippers with square toes and bejeweled buckles worn by men of that era.
Back in New York, in a full-circle twist,
Tibi founder and designer Amy Smilovic showed menswear-inspired women’s pieces — like pantsuits, boxy shorts and trench coats — on men. “I have five or six guys in our office, and they are wearing Tibi,” said Smilovic. “It just felt very right to do it on the runway.”
The designer credits a turn to a more feminine aesthetic as reason to add tailored pieces. “When I wear something very feminine, I need to balance it with something that has a masculine spin,” she said. “What you’re going to see heavily in Europe is a resurgence of femininity on the runway. It’s something I’ve been feeling very much in the past six months or so.”
The reaction to the brand’s show has been so strong that Smilovic is considering a small capsule launch of men’s pieces. “We’ve been hounded now with requests for men’s. It’s a ‘maybe,’ with a heavy ‘likely.’”
For now, the brand’s leather flip-flops (which will be produced in navy, dark brown and white) are a good gender-neutral start.
A trench coat, leather flip flops and the same shorts — all women’s pieces — shown on a man at Tibi’s runway show
A blazer, boxy shorts and booties at Tibi