Playing with proportions is nothing new to menswear, but has been somehow rejected in this past decade. If we're talking about womenswear, it's a bit different. Although enhancing some parts and hiding other ones had been present from the beginning of time (hence corsets, push-up bras and Spanx), playing with proportions in a fashionable kind of way had become 'appropriate' in the late 80's/early 90's. However, men had been ruling that game since forever - from army uniforms to royal clothes, male garments played the card of masculinity and strength within the exaggerating of human proportions. The peak of this particular 'trend' were the 80's when menswear designers went oversized in every possible parts. Big blazers, big sweaters - even big trousers. Probably one of the biggest thanks for mainstreaming the harem pants into the world of men goes to MC Hammer, a music artist we all still listen to and definitely watch - his flashy dance moves and elated rapping makes millions of people smile and get on their feet. His flowy hammer pants in the most camp polyester there still are a relic of the 80's - something that everyone will carry in their minds, and some still carry in their wardrobes.
Somehow, that spirit of free, wild men's mainstream design lost its spirit by the 90's kicked in. Like the standard of masculinity fell, and it needed an urgent boost - polos, beiges and v-necks kicked in, inducing a decade that was quite fun if talking about celebrity and 'music-video' fashion, but not so much in the 'average people' lifestyle. Don't consider me a hater of the 90's - the hell, a) I was born in 1993, b) one of my last posts talks about my love for it - but that's when the masculinity crisis that ended probably a few years ago started. One of the designers that kept that proportion bit going was Vivienne Westwood who isn't quite on the mainstream road, but is so well-known and popular that had (and still has!) influence on the non-fashion kind of people. Her menswear collections always give a special costume-y vibe but never go full on drag - they always represent a fashion sense of a brave guy, not defined by sex nor age. For many, sexuality (both straight and gay) is an object of defining their own customer (see Jeremy Scott vs. John Varvatos) but Westwood never gave up by using only her whimsical point of view to find her space in the fashion industry.
The Vivienne Westwood MAN Autumn Winter 2014 collection is just another brick in her endless wall of creating modern and happy clothes, and as always that draped, harem style of pants played a role in it. Remember, her trousers never go into the gimmicky part like the ones the guy that doesn't give you to touch his beat wore - they are perfectly fitted, never looking overly feminine and always in the finest material. The drop crotch plus the pleats in the waist seem obvious for a retro vibe, but she somehow pulls it of as being modern.
My first pair of true harem pants came from an independent Croatian fashion brand named ITO ITO whose tailcoat parka still remains one of the funnest pieces in my wardrobe. I bought this new comfy sweater-material trousers at a fashion fair that was held in Zagreb named Zona45, and as soon as I got to their stand I knew I wanted them - they remind me of both my favourite decade and are the comfiest pair of fashionable (at least in my world) bottoms I've owned. Comfort and fashion go SO well together, some may never know!
|Runway pics from style.com, dazed digital & i-d online|
|Wearing vintage Cacharel blazer, H&M shirt & boots, Youreyeslie tee, ITO ITO trousers, Trska jewellery Minimal bracelet, Lo. design rope bracelet & Giant Vintage sunglasses (find them here)|