Beauty And The Three Piece
Reviewing the NYFW womenswear shows, I experienced major sensory underload. I was so underwhelmed, in fact, that I needed to rest my eyes on the men’s collections. As it turns out menswear wasn’t a relaxing visual vacation so much as a wild trip with abundant layers and adventurous textures in breathtaking palettes. Definitely worth re-visiting, for example, this Mugler number—I contemplate its beauty as one might behold the ocean if they couldn’t swim. After all, my hips are impossibly wide for men’s pants.
Beautiful clothes are worth looking at even if you don’t want to (or can’t) wear them yourself. Beauty always teaches—about proportion or pleasure or color or concept. Good fashion is good fashion no matter the style, season, or collection—and so much of menswear AW12 was beautiful. So I studied up. All the reviews declared the story of the season was: SUITS. Here are my cliff notes.
The book on suiting begins with this Alexander McQueen ombre plaid look. Ombre. Plaid. Alone they are trendy tropes—but together? Alchemical. The color gradation literally submerges your eye in the perfect lines of the suit. The slim cut and ankle length of the pant sharpen the plaid and modernize such formality.
In Chapter 2, Yohji Yamamoto stuns with cunning layers and clever proportions. The capes featured in the first few exits were my favorite—they fell beautifully. Draping is not a word I would typically associate with outerwear, but these had both an ease and edginess about them that would compliment anything from the suits they were shown with to jeans and knitwear and boots. In each case the cape contrasted the length and the material of the suit jacket, adding volume and texture to the look. Contrast was a major subplot of the overarching suit story; where outwear in various collections may have caused cognitive dissonance while creating aesthetic harmony.
Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Lanvin show, which I’ll call Chapter 3. I got the sensation that I was watching dudes just like me on the catwalk—fabulous as fuck but still real as shit. Like let me just throw my bubble coat over my suit on the way to this art opening right quick—because really who is wearing an overcoat right now?