Monday, 13 January 2014


London Collection: Mens has kicked off the menswear season for Autumn/Winter 2014 and being London, it has broken the conventional boundaries. Blurring the lines in fashion just that little more.

Masculinity is no new topic to us in the fashion world. Androgyny has been dipping its toes in women's fashions for a while now and will continue doing so with the feminist movement becoming more and more mainstream. However, men's silhouettes becoming feminine is history repeating itself and the always flowing cycle of fashion.

The silhouette of the man has changed over the years with medieval European men wearing tights and breeches to emphasise their leg. Then moving on to the fantastical fashion period of the 15th century where you were unable to tell the difference between men and women from a distance. The 16th century was when the differences became more marked with aggressive masculine shapes in the form of excessive padding on the shoulders, legs and even the genitals of men were exaggerated with codpieces. The 17th century was filled with jewels, ribbons, lace and embroidery - both for men and women. Late 18th century we begin to see an undecorated style for men, and by the late 19th century, mens fashion had become a uniform. 

Mens fashion became undecorated, stiff and sombre. It was dark and shadowy. Men were predominantly seen in dark colours, especially black, whereas, women wore garishly bright garments. Men become more concerned with functionality instead of being beautifully dressed.  

LCM A/W14 has seen mens fashion going back to being decorated and bold. The silhouettes taken on a more feminine shape with J.W Anderson, (who's signature design is "things that can be borrowed from a man to a woman, and to a woman from a man") playing-card shaped tunics, vibrant printed two pieces and platform shoes. Coats with skirt-like hems from Alexander McQueen and J.W Anderson also that takes us back to the 15th century where men wore long belted robes. 

Topman Design stuck to a more traditional design with the double-breasted jackets showing bespoke British tailoring. The tailoring took a more comfortable turn this season with wide-legged trousers shown at J.W Anderson and Alexander McQueen. Topman Design showed a high-waisted, wide-legged trouser that takes a nod to the controversial style of David Bowie. The high-waisted trouser is a feminine silhouette which elongates the leg and accentuates the waist - this goes back the medieval Europe where the man concentrated on emphasising the leg. 

The colour contrast created a gap in men and women fashion historically, however, Richard Nicoll and Topman Design have produced clothes for men that are garishly bright and decorated. Steering away from the shadowy, sombre stereotype of mens fashion. The uniformity of mens fashion disappears. 

Overall, this season at LCM, designers have taken away the marked fashion that was created to show gender and social status. Instead, they have blurred the lines and closed the gap between men and women fashion. Giving men more freedom and expression in what they wear. Going back to the old traditional ways. Also, showing how mens fashion form is now just as fast paced as women's. 

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