Consider the peacock for one second. For years I thought that the gender with all the colorfully displayed plumage and 'Carnivale-esque' decadence was the female. Shocked was I to find out that it was the male. This prompted an investigation. So I dug in my desk's top drawer, pulled out my magnifying glass, donned my round scholarly spectacles and Sherlock Holmes deerstalker then went on a Google search (of course). This is where I surprisingly discovered that the males of many species were the pretty ones. The ones with all the fluff and frill. From the lion's monarchy-inspiring mane to the crowning glory of the stag's antlers, the natural beauty of the male species seemed destined to out shadow. Well now here's a challenging platform for women to play keep up and for the male ego to grow to disgustingly universal proportions. But what if I told you that the man being more visibly festive in nature was only so, in a sense, in order to attract the scrutinizing discerning eye of his female counterpart. Kinda like God played a cruel joke somewhere or tried to teach a valuable lesson in balance of the sexes.
It also kinda makes one ask, "what the hell happened with humans?". The male's ego keeps him and everyone around him thinking he's the 'bee's knees' and in turn created a system where women felt the need to prep and primp to keep up. It's like we, the most adapted species, created a system where we became über-preoccupied with plucking our peacock feathers to come up with our own versions of what's pretty and sexy and somehow that fell into various stigmas from fixations on eternal youth to Brazilian waxes to various augmentations to manic dieting. Well this isn't a call to regress or ditch city living and go off and live in the wilderness. I feel that we have to adapt and adjust to the times we live in with all the ideas, technologies and advancements that have flourished over generations. We have learned over time. Women have busted through the 'mascu-dominated' barriers and ate liberated pie while men have begrudgingly relented and even acknowledged the incredible importance of their 'estrogenated' halves. Men adopting to embrace the liberty of choice and option, often enjoyed by their female cohorts while simultaneously preserving yet redefining their gender roles have more to do with nature than not.
Why all the talk of species? Well whenever I come across a label that aims to nudge men in a direction of the future while circling the airports of good taste, fashion history and expression, I think of the difference such a label makes on modern men, fashion and dressing. And I think of it in relation to how it differs from a womenswear model; in a sense, what makes it separately unique for menswear and for fashion. Such a thought-provoking label is Gregory Allen. This Toronto-based clothing and accessories label bearing the designer/owner's namesake made me think of a kind of controlled explosion. Explanation?
Gregory Allen uses the lines of menswear staples and finds enlightening ways to color outside of them. Infused with color, prints and textures to brighten your drawers are Allen's eclectic dress shirts, pocket squares, bow ties and boxer shorts. What stands out with this label is the unashamed usage of color that in lesser quality hands would've failed. See, not only are the pieces crafted from premium materials like perforated supple lambskins and soft long staple cottons but they are also very well tailored with attention to detail in finishing and initial presentation through package design. Yes Mr. Allen pays close attention in making sure his products are given that specialty factor with canister packaging, for his pocket squares, bow ties and trim boxer shorts for example, that make them that much more special for the buyer or wearer's breast pocket, neck, bum, and ultimately, ego. The label seeks to have fun with traditional textiles in whimsical, not clownish, ways with fun vibrant plaids, checks, dotted and striped patterns in color and texture pairings that are delightful and utterly wearable.
Understood here is the specialty factor that more men are realizing they desire from their experience with clothing and shopping. This has long been a factor that many men have applied to their expectations from gadgets and electronics which they ultimately made personal. More men are discovering the personal aspect of clothing as they discover that when a label such as Gregory Allen is chosen, with keen design and premium elements, they can preserve a solid masculine identity while exploring the more progressive areas of dressing and adornment. It's welcomed consideration for the mannish-maned kings of the jungle and prouder-plumaged peacocks alike.