Monday, 9 June 2008

on mens fashion

Last Monday brought the last of my must-go Colin Mc Dowell events for the schoolyear. This time around it was a conversation about mens fashion with Christopher Bailey, Creative Director of Burberry and Jeremy Langmead, Editor in Chief of UK Esquire Magazine. My fave insights:

from Christopher Bailey:
He designs more with an attitude and lifestyle in mind instead of age. When kids steal from parents' closets and parents dressing more like their children, he clearly is in the right direction. The term "age-ist" has been mentioned in the event referring to people discriminating against believed dressing outside your age group.

Ties are not a staple in Christopher Bailey's closet. Although his house churns them out each season, this creative director is one of those restricted by the tie's formality. I believe this reflects the degree to which dressing nowadays is becoming more and more democratically casual.

Quiet fashion is as impactful as up to the minute in season fashion. I cannot agree more on this. In an industry of planned obsolescence, there is brilliance in creating clothes that are current from season to season. A well cut well made ensemble beats an outfit fresh from the trend alert magazine page.

from Colin Mc Dowell:
He discussed The Great Masculine Renunciation. As we've studied it this term, it was just a recap for most of us. Nevertheless, it is a very relevant point of history that relates to why men are more somber in dressing. In the Indistrial Revolution, where capitalism ruled, men adopted the practical uniform of suits. Business men couldnt be seen spending their cash on pointless accroutements. Instead, they showed their status through their wives and her magnificent ball gowns and jewellery.

Colour in men's clothing was also discussed. Oftentimes, people associate the crayola dressing with gay men. All speakers begged to differ and pointed out the increasing affinity for colourful mens clothing. (Oh yes, real men wear pink;)) Colour for those faint of fashion heart, can be seen in those peeping red socks or outrageous tie.

If women's hidden pleasure is lingerie, what is it for men? I dont believe this question was answered...think about it one can see but you take pleasure it wearing it...

from Jeremy Langmead:

This guy is my quotable quotes guy of the night! First off.."Man feels moral when he is uncomfortable." That was in reference of men being less adventurous in dressing than women.

"Male is the sensible gender, you dont often hear of men and impulse buying." Do men really think more about the societal norms when they dress? On impulse buying...women may shop more but it is common knowledge that mens clothing are on a more expensive scale. We shop more but on a lower price range, you shop less but on a higher price range. Then again the impulse side of it can also mean we dont care if it's beyong budget if it makes our bodies look slimmer, legs leaner and butts smaller.

"For men, luxury is a private pleasure." Well, well, this might have answered Colin McDowell's hidden pleasure question indirectly. Then again you can still see a Patek watch. This gave rise to the concept of connoissuership being discussed. If you are indeed part of the sartorially exquisite, you should know the difference of your Armani suit from your Zegna one. We might not see it, but you better be exuding it.

Christopher Bailey, super slim in a super sleek suit was put on the spot in an anti-climactic moment when a fur protester started throwing loaded questions and allegations on Burberry's use of Scandinavian fur. It was totally out of context and thankfully Christopher and Colin tag teamed in talking the guy out of furthering his questioning. Post event, I eyed the PR woman taking care of the matter.

Starstruck! We were the only ones who were able to take a pic with Christopher Bailey as he was rushed to another engagement. Crossing Oxford Street, we saw his Mercedes driving away.

I truly admire him for transforming Burberry's aesthetic. Before him, Burberry was hard hit by the Chav sting. Now Burberry is back on the map with its tradition of impeccable tailoring and lavish luxe details. Sans the explicit showing of the infamous check, they have been known for a quieter yet more sophisticated style statement. Hiring him was really one of if not the best moves done by ex-chief Rose Marie Bravo.

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