Menswear shows always prove to be a conundrum for us. While we like our men all dandied up in impeccably fitted classic suits or rogueishly gussied up in their not-so-outrageous everyday wear, we also know the importance of creativity, showing off, spectacle, and drama to menswear designers, who, season after season, are faced with the difficult task of showcasing the hottest and latest in men's fashion. But just how much liberty can they take with menswear, which, let's admit, is not as fickle and volatile as womenswear?
How big is their playing field, exactly, given that in the greater realm of things—i.e. real life, off the runway. Most men are more likely to gravitate towards basic, vanilla pieces, which are miles and miles away from whatever tailored or non-tailored imaginings that designers conjure up at the head of the catwalk.
Lucky for the designers, Fashion Week exists. Any spectator knows that wearability and commercial viability are not always the crux of the shows. The mere invocation of the word "show" transports us from reality and into the designers' imagined realities. Where else would darkened crotch panels be a viable form of dress, but in Dodjie Batu's? Laser-cut shorts with a tighty-reddy peeking through, but in Simon Ariel Vasquez's? The spectacle of Fashion Week gives license to many designers to concretize their wildest sartorial dreams, and if these involve Venetian masks, cropped jackets, and a digiprint wimple, well... convention be damned. We, the audience, are only so lucky to be exposed to so many diverse versions.
See for yourself what the menswear designers have to offer for Holiday 2012:
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