Fashion will keep us together!

by RETRY CD 1 Comment

Fashion will keep us together!

For a long time men held back on their fashion choices, but they finally gained courage and now enjoy a much appreciated freedom.

Gone are the days when the old popular saying "a man wants to smell like a horse" lost all sense, and the "debauchery" with which the "boys" machine-gunned each other became extinct and gave rise to a new form to understand fashion. The way they looked at her until then was more about the pride of well-groomed hair and beard and a simple but careful presentation.

The truth is that most men, over time and because we no longer live in a world of carriages, began to be more interested in fashion and essentially in looking and feeling good.

They started by remaining Classics but with the passage of time and all the social changes of the mid-20th and 21st centuries, they left aside many of the stereotypes that had been instilled in them and began to look for more pleasant, informal and comfortable solutions.

They dropped their suits and ties, their lace-up shoes, the formalities of their hats and other artifacts that were intrinsic to them and, still fearfully, they let go and were attentive to the new fashions that were dedicated to them.
But everything was still very light and very classic until the crazy 60's/70's/80's became the main responsible for this whole style revolution both for them and for them.

Lots of designers began to appear like mushrooms, also dedicated to men's fashion and quickly imposed themselves on the market and, consequently, gained fame and followers.

And so in this miscellany of irreverent styles, jeans, flared trousers and tight shirts in which they could hardly breathe stood out, long hair and everything that the grandparents' generation called “modernity”.
Looking at each other, because vanity “bites” and the outfit could be the “culprit” of a successful moment, nobody wanted to let themselves be left behind.
They were very crazy years and there was no one to hold back the young people.
This phenomenon of Vanity has affected the entire planet. And everyone wanted to ride “the wave”.

Also because of social phenomena, for example, like new musical rhythms and their protagonists like Elvis Presley, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Bowie, Black Sabbath... and so on & on, fashion has changed in all its segments.
And the men, starting with the youngest but followed by the irreverent older ones, quickly embraced new collars, new tie knots……until they culminated in jeans for everyone.

For me, the democratization of jeans was the revolution of the 20th century!
Men's fashion didn't change as quickly as women's but every year something changed. Gradually, new elements became embedded in men's habits, and men's fashion took on a well-deserved and remarkable dimension.

And so, we are faced with a more pleasant landscape, with a more beautiful city with people who are better cared for and much happier and more confident.
The grey, black and navy blue that for years were like a second skin in men's fashion has become a more colorful mix that, whether we like it or not, has an influence on our mood and even our general well-being.

A classic man who knows how to awaken his image with small touches of refinement and timeliness, he is undoubtedly my perfect style. And I also allow myself to confess that I love British Preppy Style with the relaxed audacity of the world we live in.

But men's fashion doesn't stop here!
Fashion is an expression of art and accompanies artistic movements whether in the area of ​​plastic arts, such as music, architecture….
By the 1980s, with Ney Matogrosso, Bowie, Boy George, Grace Jones and others, a more androgynous way of dressing was already being observed.
It was a remarkable era in menswear that deconstructed the norms and embellished and exaggerated the looks, making them absolutely different and even theatrical but without a doubt unique and shocking.
The younger layer quickly let go of the codes used until then, woke up and vehemently adhered to these new concepts. Eccentricity was on the surface.
Another great influence in the world of men's fashion was “rapper music”, with its “periphery and Creole philosophy” being reflected in fashion with a more slovenly, sloppy, broken air, but no less coherent and comfortable.

On the other hand, with the development of the art of “graffiti artists”, fashion has also changed, bringing more color, prints, fun, relaxation and freedom to the streets. All this is considered vandalism by some and by others street art with the most beautiful and striking images. Graffiti has taken on an important role in several cities such as Bristol, where Banksy is well exposed and is highly respected by art critics. His works scattered throughout the city are even the object of organized tours.

As for whether or not it is vandalism, it is the graffiti artists themselves who consider that, if it is not a mere abusive scribble, it is considered one of the most beautiful expressive arts accessible to the public eye, and is also a fundamental element in communication. The graffiti artist likes to convey messages through his art.

Once again, young people were not indifferent and began to awaken to new concepts, to follow their convictions in a determined way and willing to impose themselves without social prejudices.
All these movements had a fundamental impact on the evolution of fashion, growing a new trend, in parallel, with the conservative path. A more conceptual and differentiated trend based on metamorphosis and androgyny.

Alongside this freer way for men to express themselves, there is a desire to free themselves from traditional facts and to want, just like women (who have been using and abusing all men's clothing for a long time), to wear more feminine clothes.

Skirts are one of the most desired and coveted pieces.
Worn by men, the most famous skirts known as “kilts” were used by Scots who, to this day, do not abdicate the tradition.
Despite being present in other cultures, skirts for men have not become widespread like pants for women.
There is still a lot of prejudice in society that retracts men from using them. But actually, nowadays seeing a man in a skirt can be exotic, but the skirt has always been part of men's clothing.

Men have been wearing skirts since time immemorial. The skirt was a garment that did not delimit male or female territory.
Like many countries, especially in the East, men still wear skirts.

In the West, since the development of tailoring in the 19th century, the use of trousers for men became generalized, “decreing themselves” as skirts would be for women.
Despite all this, the Popes never left them.
And that's the mentality we carry to this day.

a little more about Skirts, their rebellions and controversies

Since the 1960s, the counterculture era, several designers have tried to reintroduce the men's skirt into fashion, borrowing ideas from different cultures and eras.
In the 1980s, some celebrities and fashion designers such as Jean-Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani, John Galliano, Kenzo and Yohji Yamamoto tried to promote the idea of ​​men wearing skirts, without intending to popularize them.

But men remained conservative and unchanging in their clothing for centuries, which explains the still current "poverty" in the variety of men's clothing.

Menswear designers and skirt wearers employ their use for three purposes: to transgress conventional and social moral codes, redefine the ideal of masculinity, and inject novelty into menswear.

Kurt Cobain and several stylists such as Vivienne Westwood and Paul Smith, have not stopped exploring and implementing them in the presentation of their men's skirt collections.
“Men's clothing should be inspired by women's clothing and not just the other way around”.

But the Turkish stylist, Rifat Ozbek, known for his exotic ethnic-inspired costumes, thinks and adds that men are afraid that the skirt will alter their sexuality: "Men only accept wearing a skirt if it is coated with a historical weight, like the Scottish skirt or even if it is a piece signed by a famous stylist, as this will not make a man feel less of a man", he opines.

With the exception of the Scottish skirt, the “kilt”, men are still very apprehensive when it comes to wearing any type of skirt.

Finding men's skirts in alternative stores is quite common.
Many stylists present skirts in their men's shows, such as Jean Paul Gaultier, John Galliano, Etro, Comme des Garcons, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen...
The skirt is being used as a way to show that a man can be fashionable.

In this sense, here are some tips for men who want to wear skirts:

Men's skirts can be long or short (below the knees). Understated colors such as gray, brown, black or khaki. On top, t-shirts or dress shirts. In winter: closed shirts, turtlenecks, wool sweaters that can be complemented with a blazer or a complete suit. On your legs just black leggings and if you dare: tights. On your feet wear: in summer: sneakers, sandals or even flip flops. In winter, short or long boots.

In Portugal it is not common to see men in skirts. The only example I remember are those from the traditional “pauliteiros de miranda” ranch (but I believe that unlike the Scots, they only use them in festivities).

And, returning to the credit that art has in this matter, let's talk about Prince (one of the geniuses of androgyny) who changed the way we think about music and gender. His prowess in composing outfits contributed to breaking any and all customs and protocols. He was a skirt lover.

The 1980s with all its glamor and substantial influence and proliferation of new artists intensified the predisposition to speak openly about gender equality. Prince was also responsible for the adoption of purple or lilac as a Gay “emblem”.

Onstage, pretty boys like Boy George, with their glitter and eyeliner and their theatrical and risque way of performing in shows, created a desire in young men to emulate them. Bowie also enters this suit with an idea of ​​freedom: “to be what you want, to dress as a man or a woman, to be homosexual or heterosexual”. This message was absorbed by many boys and girls who until then did not even dare to think, even for themselves, on this subject.

Bowie went from androgyny to metamorphosis and reinvented himself throughout his career in a cunning and powerful way. Their costumes are iconic.
Although one of her favorite outfits are the “British style suits” divinely made by tailors and great stylists, her skill in mixing and creating masculine and feminine costumes throughout her career, gave her a theatrical and chameleonic dimension. And he mentioned in an interview the following: “Have you ever thought how boring it would be if we were the same people every day, with the same style and the same will as always?”.
And with all this expressiveness, he became known not only as one of the most emblematic musicians of all time, but also as an inspirer and driver of major changes in fashion.

JW Anderson, an Irish fashion designer who has worked for renowned houses such as Loewe, Louis Vuitton and others, presented, with his own brand, at London menswear fashion week, women's pieces built especially for the male body, giving the skirt an exponential place .

After all, for decades women have been wearing everything that was designed to be used by men, so it would be almost inevitable that one day the opposite would not happen.

This theme is super current and endless, however, I must leave here a reflection. We will be on the right path towards equality and freedom between men and women in fashion, a freedom that has already been gained whether at work or in social life or if we allow freedom of choice, we will increasingly be forgetting the attributions of each one? This is because the choices we make are determined by our personality.
By this I mean, this manifest alteration in men's fashion and its traditional attributes, this surprising explosion, will lead us to conclude that fashion and society are entering an unknown, vulnerable and distorted path, proposing or giving choose the man or the woman if they want to keep their records as a man and a woman, or if they are willing and intend to exchange roles, that is, the man wanting to be a woman and the woman wanting to be a man?

Despite this exchange of roles indicating an outdated or even sexist idea, the fact is that many people still think that way and it is not easy for society to accept “new protocols” from one moment to the next. Sometimes, it's not even prejudice, but lack of education, civility and culture. With tolerance and more time for reflection and learning on the subject, everything will fall into place and all “the pieces that make up this chessboard” will certainly have their space and exemplary exchange, allowing for a healthy coexistence for all.

And with these fads I say goodbye remembering that “education makes the future look like a place of hope and transformation”.

Maria Pia

1 Response

Maria José Ferreira
Maria José Ferreira

July 13, 2022

Muito interessante, uma imagem dinâmica da moda do homem! Adorei! Parabéns!

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