Oftentimes things happen on the runway that cause skepticism, even pause. Again, I say it all has to do with perspective. I tend to look at collections and runway presentations as the births and developments of what want to be great stories. The designer is the author in-charge of presenting words (clothing) in a way that either promotes their literary voice (design aesthetic) or publisher's genre (fashion house's legacy) to impact the art of literature (fashion movement) and sell copies (sell clothes). Each season I look at each designer's offering and see how it links to their vision, the noteworthy overall message they are trying to suggest and what specific type of individual may have been intended to receive that message.
For the past few seasons for both the Fall and Spring collections, menswear designers have been pushing the new reinvigorated perspective in tailoring. Reinvigorated due the changes being more in a mixing of modern and periodic elements to create a signature style that each individual wearer can claim unique ownership to. Periodic elements like late 50's and early 60's trim spare tailoring, 30's and 40's sartorial sophistication and 90's minimalist simplistic cuts.
What menswear designers seem to be adding to the mix now are elements that pull out more of the above along with 80's expressionism and 70's gigolo glam updated with modern eyes and living within the confines of modern tailoring. Modernized with recent familiar, now commonplace elements like shrunken jackets, higher armholes, trim legs and floodwater breaks around the hem. Further modernized for the Spring/Summer 2013 season by jackets (many sleeveless) cut away from the but body fitting lean-like at the shoulders and trousers receiving an almost streetwear hand but tailored sophisticatedly and paired with new re-hatched accessories that examine texture, contrast and handmade detailing.
Among the most notable for the season was the way in which some designers made strides to make tailoring more accessible to those individuals who don't necessarily have to wear a suit at all and who don't want to get stuck looking too 9 to 5. On many a runway designers broke up the idea of the traditional suit and paired shorts with the suit's tailored jacket. Now ultimately one could say that the ensemble looks juvenile but the look actually is more maturely liberated than prepubescent regressive. Executed with a skilled hand, the replacement of the trouser with an equally tailored trim short suggests how the forward-thinking male should have already claimed ownership of the modern suit diagram and be looking for plausible ways to take the stigma of 'occasion' away from the suit. In this light, the suit sort of becomes a perfect reinterpretation of leisurely tailored that could be easily persuaded to casual laid-back to casual formal given the right new accessories.
The abbreviated suit proposed strongly for Spring/Summer 2013 is a platform to show just how intelligent men have become at evolving to more individual pack-leaders than 'led by the wool' sheep. Wear with sneakers and a tee or oxfords and a button-down or with a sweater underneath and a strong sandal; cuff the short and push the jacket sleeves up. The idea is to make the suit more plausible to more walks of men, with different lifestyles, different places to go and various summertime-tailored novels of their own to start writing. The plot to the menswear story thickens by allowing men to chose their own ending.
*All Photos Courtesy of Style.com.
*All Photos Courtesy of Style.com.