Initially, this piece was easy. Just choose from the latest menswear a/w 2014 shows, roughly five collections I would wear and five collections I wouldn’t, if I were a man. Then give reasons why I liked or didn’t like them. It wasn’t so simple.
First I began by choosing collections for men that I would date if that were an option, which is not the position I wanted to take! I stepped out and back in again, asking myself if I am going to choose clothes that I like as a man, what sort of man am I? Gay, 40, chubby, tall, Spanish, into sports, aware of design? Or a Versace man? Now there’s a man that could, along with me be very confused right now. Even if I decide I am an architect about to retire, would I choose clothes for this alter ego by following stereotypes or imagine off beat. There was no option but to go for it, even though confusion of gender arose.
Astrid Andersen is a great example of how one minute I was ‘yes, yes’ -I’d like to date this look, 7, hang out with him and his clothes at least – and the next ‘no, no!’ – because I hate these asymmetrical tops on women, never mind on an effeminately styled man. Burberry also had me jumping about, are these clothes for a straight man, gay man or everyman? All those neckties loosely drapped around the shoulders of a light mac, the silk making a little twist at the front of a string vest.
As objectively as I could, which isn’t very, here is an overview of what I would wear if I were a man with a multiple personality disorder and what I wouldn’t, with any personality.
For certain, I’m not a Sibling ‘man’. Not unless I’m now a try-hard boy band member who wants the world to look at me and think I was wearing a onesie under this with a family of teddy bears waiting for me at home.
If I were an estate agent I’d probably be quite chuffed with this look by Trussardi. Especially glad to get out of funny pointed shoes and into some rounded toes. Still, glad I’m not actually an estate agent.
Part way through this little project, I noticed a whole body of collections that didn’t make it into the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ pile because looking at them was like eating too much cheese and then slipping into a cheese coma. It wasn’t until I had created this big pile of muted bland-bland that I thought, is this actually worse than the ‘no’ pile? Could be, but then there’s always Michael Kors who manages to make it into several categories of wrong, here with this knitted log. I’ve never understood why any man would like a giant floppy condom on their head. Especially a brown one. If I were a man, I wouldn’t.
There’s the obvious goody like Alexander McQueen, consistently turning out new and wholly brand driven wearable works of art. I could definitely rock this latest collection of masterpieces, slick! Sarah Burton doesn’t falter in her drive to carry the McQueen label forward able to look back at the same time as producing highly polished, well edited and perfectly fitting garments that could tilter either way of yes, carefully balanced design.
Paul Smith for refreshingly good use of textiles and colour palette. It’s so nice to see good quality clothes for men. When you go through the collections back-to-back you really notice the ones that stand out and this one does for all the right reasons from the quality of materials and cut to styling and back drop. More yeses; Dries Van Noten, yes if I’m a man that likes geometrics and tie die with serious style, I’m in! Viktor & Rolf, if I am now your younger brother, yes! Umit Benan, every look is great and Shipley Halmos, same!! There’s a revival on 60s and modish slender, with crisp detail and encouraged care of garments which if I were a man I’d be more than happy with. Could just see myself as a bit of a lad in a good fitting shirt and trousers if none of the other personas work out.
If I were a woman… Coming soon by Johannes Reponen.