Tuesday, May 29, 2018

New York Evening Hours by Lieba Nesis

Men and Florals -The New Paradigm

James Harden cover of GQ
Click iimges for full-size views

As the MeToo movement gains unstoppable momentum, the effects are reverberating in the fashion industry with men choosing to dress more colorfully than women. As women demand equal treatment, the men are doing the same by choosing daring "outfits" usually reserved for females. Hence, we are seeing a pendulum shift from outrageously sexy clothing on women to more serious, streamlined designs on some of our most cherished female risk takers who now wear pantsuits and midi-dresses.

Lady Gaga

The formerly outrageous Lady Gaga now looks like an uptight character from "Mad Men." Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry and Angelina Jolie continually choose more covered up looks than they did in their raunchier pasts. The star of May's Met Gala was hands down Jared Leto who showed up in a blue Gucci design that wowed the entire crowd. Besides being extremely apropos to the religious theme, he also ushered in the ascendancy of men into the halls of fashion stardom.

Jared Leto at the Met Gala
Photo: Pop Sugar

In years past, men were practically invisible at the Gala and barely worthy of a glance. However, this year there were a host of men who received at least as much attention as the women including the boldly dressed Stephen Colbert, the stylish Trevor Noah in Balmain, the dashing Chadwick Boseman in Versace and the debonair Donald Glover in Gucci. Even the ordinarily staid Tom Brady wore a black Versace jacket adorned with gold embroidery.

Harry Styles In Gucci

As women choose to wear black and more severe colors and designs to achieve more credibility men are conversely going all out in their sartorial choices. Showing up in a plain black tuxedo to an awards event is beginning to become unthinkable and will probably get you on a "most boring" dressed list.

French Montana and Two Chainz wear $10,000 Gucci coat

In the old days, few prominent designers were willing to go all out in menswear due to a nonexistent audience. Since Alessandro Michele took over the helms of Gucci in 2015, he has made menswear as prominent as womenswear with rappers DJ Khaled, ASAP Rocky, 2 Chainz and Future making Gucci their new uniform. In the past these men would be called "metrosexuals" now they are merely heterosexuals.

Cavaliers In Thom Browne
Photo: the New York Times

Recognizing this dominant trend GQ put style and basketball star James Harden on its May cover entitled "The New Era Of Wild Style... and Other Men Who Wear it Well." Harden dons a $6,000 floral Gucci ensemble for the cover-imagine the absolute ridicule Michael Jordan would have had to endure if he wore floral shorts. It's about time men were able to have some fun with fashion without being decimated for their bold choices. In fact, in April the Cleveland Cavaliers chose to don coordinated Thom Browne made-to-measure suits, ties, shoes and bags when they entered the arena in their playoff game against the Pacers.

Russell Westbrook 
Lebron James recently told the New York Times, "expressing myself through fashion is such an important part of my N.B.A. experience... Using the tunnel walk to express yourself, say what you feel that is a very cool change my generation brought to the game." Lebron admitted to enjoying the paparazzi attention as he employs numerous stylists to prepare each look.

Russell Westbrook Style Drivers book

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook and Golden State's Kevin Durant have become as famous for their fashion as they are for their athleticism. Westbrook recently designed a collection for Barneys and released a book of his outfits and inspirations. Gucci's Men's 2018 Ready-to-Wear collection shows a purple crystal embroidered bomber for $5,250, A Snow White sweater with Sequins for $5,200 and a floral legging for $600-sequins, flowers, bunnies, and cartoon characters for men is undoubtedly unchartered territory. Moreover, the exorbitant prices indicate men are willing to spend on fashion in previously unthinkable ways.

Indeed, there will be men who will and should steer clear of this trend. Hopefully, we will never see Mark Zuckerberg in a floral Gucci tuxedo or Ted Cruz in a "Blind for Love" Gucci sweater meeting Mike Pence in a Bunny cardigan. However, as rappers and sports icons continue to wear bold clothing, they will undoubtedly be mimicked by their adoring fan base.  As this trend continues, it is only a matter of time before global fashion houses begin pouring resources into their men's collections.

I am looking forward to a future where men start complaining that they are sick of being asked who they are wearing on the red carpet instead of being taken seriously for their copious talent.




- Lieba Nesis


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