Archive for January, 2010

Speaking of things styled for the wangus—

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

There is a bit of discussion over H&M offering skirts with their menswear for Spring 2010.  It is true that somebody is always trying to introduce skirts to menswear and it is going to make the blogs titter every time.  What is new is that it’s not some fancy-pants (skirt) designer who’s most outré pieces have no chance of trickling down to department ready-to-wear copies.  This is H&M, which—for cities that are not Portland—is as solid a source for clothing as Target is in the ‘burbs.

That there is no (apparent) feature of these skirts that differentiates them from styles sold regularly to women doesn’t really matter.  These are Skirts For Men, racked next to skinny jeans and blazers in the men’s section.  There will be no need to wander over to Juniors or Ladies and parse a different department’s sizing system, practising legit-sounding reasons for being there.  More folks who shop in the men’s department will try them on.

If the experiment fails, whatever, the seed has been planted. Once a style permeates the department stores it never really goes away.  Less classy/hep joints will begin picking it up. The process will rev the feedback cycle until, like cargo pants and babydoll tees, skirts in the men’s section are always represented to some degree—though every couple of years you may have trouble finding a style you like since the world’s gone obsessed with something else for the season.

It’ll make your dick fall off

Sunday, January 17th, 2010

During a season when everybody is wearing body-obscuring layers and thick coats, I’m thinking about summer. Not, as you might guess, in a wistful manner, contrasting the sweltering day star to the icy dusk. Instead, I’m noticing how cold can be the great gender equaliser.

I’ve seen and heard comments on dating during winter, who can guess at the shape beneath that puffy parka (and more importantly, does it have tits?).

In the same vein, it’s generally agreed that summer is when the secondary sex characteristics come out. Bare chests, short shorts, the curve of the neck unobstructed by scarves and high collars.

Last summer and acquaintance bemoaned his inability (work and lifestyle related) to wear light summer dresses in the clinging wet heat. As someone who can and does wear skirts, I extended my sympathies—in the heat skirts win, less fabric, breeze access and more length variations to favour a wider range of legs and style.

It is a horrible bummer that general society inhibits people from wearing what they like if it goes against the local community’s opinion of what one should wear when presenting as a particular gender. Ladies have it easier, pants, in most cases, are totally okay.

Women in items that are clearly “menswear” have, for some time, in the western world, been accepted and embraced. ‘Cause “how hot is it when she’s wearing your shirt?” Acceptance hinges, of course, on using menswear to enhance one’s delicate, blushing femininity by contrast.

However. For ladies the world of fashion more widely spreads its legs. Nonetheless, the common female approach to menswear is couched in jealousy, only the rare lightbulb flickering on to realise that men’s closets are wonderful sources of plunder, or that an item could be considered “unisex” (and therefore okay). Why confine your taste and comfort to the dark months of winter?

Rodarte is apparently “the shit”

Friday, January 1st, 2010

I’m late on posting this, but hell, might as well finish the draft, get it out of the queue, new year and all.

Late December we went to one of the local Targets that was graced with the presence of some of Rodarte’s little capsule collection.

The situation and lighting was one where flash or no flash were equally annoying options, as far as getting clarity and detail.  These are quickie snapshots taken to get a point across.

There were dresses and bikinis and printed tees too, but I picked a couple of pieces that seemed best representative. I could not find the tights they made, which are pretty much just large pattern lace and I know Leg Avenue makes a variation in a thigh high.  All images link to Flickr pages that have more info.

Anyway, the piece I liked the most wasn’t even available online:

An inch longer and I would have got it

Quality-wise, if you like Target’s house brands (Mossimo Supply Co. and Merona, specifically), then you’ll have no problem with these pieces.  I personally am totally a fan of them, and found nothing wrong with all the little tulle/lingerie/lace fabric and treatment, nor the cardigans.

A couple pieces though, were victims of design and circumstance:

Oh, c'mon now

The tulle that works so well on the skirts comes off as itchy, snaggy and badly draped here.  Online reviews at Target say the fabric is as itchy as it looks and that the bows are not tacked, so they come undone and don’t go back very well.

It's kind of a meh piece anyhow

Well, it’s printed, so the inside remains white.  This is always a problem with prints, they might have been better off using a mustardy-yellow lace and printing black on it.  Inside felt scratchy,hung like crap—but that might have been a combination of the fabric and any residual size.

I wish they were carrying the socks they show in the looks. Closest equivalents at Sock Dreams are the Textured Stripe Knee High and fishnets over beige stockings, both raw-topped (cut the crotch top of the tights off so they’re just legs).

Overall I am remaining sceptically hopeful for Gaultier’s line, though it sounds like it is coming from a similar approach to what McQueen did—referencing “women and pop culture” instead of those things that made us love the designers in the first place.