An exaggerated cinched waist truly makes me feel more powerful, and I absolutely understand Victorian men or Napoleon who couldn't go to a war without their high-waisted pants. So each time I feel any bits of insecurity, I pull out any of my 3 pairs of high-waisted trousers (Primark jeans, Matija Čop black canvas trousers & these badass H&M trend babies) and put them on. Empowerment indeed.
As the menswear Autumn/Winter 2014 shows passed their hottest point (Prada, Bottega Veneta & Burberry have all shown), I had an urge to single out some shows I liked or get into all that 'trend forecasting' sh*t and pretend I know what I'm talking about. So when my lack of self-confidence kicked in and I had to put my high-waisted dad jeans bought (new!!) for £7 on, with the menswear shows in mind I instantly got to think about a global (well, fashion wise at least) need to empower the 'stronger' gender (not a fact). Women embody menswear trends, and designers feel inspired with both vintage and futuristic images of men. So why wouldn't men cinch in their waists and highlight the sexiest part of a female body?! (indeed a fact)
Although the fact that Napoleon did the high waist trousers first is not even vaguely true, his interpretation of that (and many more) trend(s) has been famous up until today. Plus, the way he had stylishly set up all of the French Empire uniforms is awfully cute. Then came the Victorians who all had a thing of their own - 3-piece-suits, high top-hats, and luxurious canes were everything, until the 40's and 50's movie stars rocked the trend. Marlon Brando & James Dean weren't solo, but only one of the most recognisable waisted (pun quite intended) faces. Bell-bottom skin-tight and skyway-high trouser were a hit in the 70's, just before a star on its own merits came to life. Steve Urkel from Family matters is still (visibly) my fashion icon - just because I believe every outfit should have a bit of humour injected into the core.
|At Waterlooo Napoleon did surrender... Still makes me sing, especially with his fashion abilty!|
Many many MANY designers chose to privilege their own men, to feel powerful, fashionable and a little bit of something else. Salvatore Ferragamo obviously got together with Bailey from Burberry, Pilati from Zegna and Lady Miuccia Prada when they all came to a whole retro vibe for their men that showed a distinguished look of tall but somewhat boxy silhouettes with a remaining feel of Italian elegance. On the other hand, Sibling, JW Anderson & Bobby Abley went for an itsy-bitsy different route - androgynous, feminine but powerful. The boys (truly not men) at Vivienne Westwood rocked an 80's extravaganza look, while Thom Browne's looks for Moncler Gamme Bleu pretended like tartany kings. Different indeed. One of my favourite shows was definitely the Topman Design - dark, mysterious, quirky and individual, yet wearable and edgy. The greasy hair matched with those stark high-waisted loose trousers showed a unique mélange of old and new.
|waisted evolution: from Brando through Urkel to Jil Sander and many more for A/W 14|
As for the Croatian sphere of high waists for men, there's a naturally low-stock situation. One of the comeback moments from last season was the amazing Robert Sever fashion show where once again got together with amazingly talented Branko Basletić to create a retro fairy tale with beautiful womenswear, but stunning and incredibly unique menswear looks. Playing that dangerous edge of costume and fashion design, boys played a really nice game - giving their all, but still having that constraint that's necessary in a designer's mind. I still remember the shivers I got when seeing it on the runway back in October.
|Retromania: Amazing work by Sever & Basletić for their latest collection shown at Fashion.hr, Zagreb|
For my own story, I had to pull out bits and bobs from different shows I loved. A little bit of a retro feel mixed with just a tiny touch of womenswear (or should I say sockwear), with a floral touch and an 80's vibe... It's a megamix of my favourite fashion hits.
In the end, the most important thing is - I felt powerful and confident. That's what clothes are for.
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