The question on my mind is whether there is still a distinction between what constitutes masculine and feminine?
Givenchy’s fetishistic Fall ’09 collection confronted this question with lean men in tight leather and knit leggings. It is hard to really understand what I mean without taking a look at some images from the runway.
The above image highlights what I believed to be the best of the show. When I first saw this outfit, I thought it really encompassed what I was looking for in fashion. The styling is bold, yet well composed, creating what I thought could best be described as ‘British school marm meets fetish-friendly capitalist.’
Riccardo Tisci’s vision succeeds in maintaining traditional elements of masculinity, while at the same time, pushing those definitions by turning mens fashion on its head. No longer are the days of strict tailoring. It is now time to usher in a wave of fashion that bridges the gap between masculinity and feminity. Tisci’s collection is by no means subtle and at times I felt like it may have been pushing too far, to a place where there already was not an audience:
While I envy the man who can wear leggings that are decked out in glitter, I have a feeling that these are not going to send most men running for the doors of established fashion houses.
2009 is not the first time leggings have been spotted on the runway. When Marni did it back in 2007, the results were much more simplistic and they found themselves as stockholders in the “leggings as pants” market.
2007 trendcasting aside, Tisci’s vision for Givenchy effectively translates into a new take on androgyny, opening up a market for clasically-styled androgyny, the likes of which have never been seen before.
Pugh’s Push for Shredded Structure
Leggings for men may seem like an obvious attempt at subversion in the fashion world, especially given that Gareth Pugh showcased shredded leggings in his 2009 F/W collection:
However, given a push toward subtler nuances between male and female, it appears that a legging for men is a step in the right direction without being too gimmicky. Lets be honest though, given society’s attachment to preconceived notions of masculinity and feminity, it is not likely that we will see ‘meggings’ on most men in most cities around the world. Although, those that do, will have a special place in my heart, because as we all know, the fashon world is always one step ahead of the natural world and despite changes to definitions occuring on the inside, it may be a while before we see the likes of this: