4 November 2008

The Future of Menswear: A Designer's Perspective

"It is difficult for me to talk about what other designers will do, but in terms of look, I suspect we will see a return to more elegant, classic dressing. This will be because people will want to purchase clothes that have a longer life span and are therefore a better investment. I have always preferred this design aesthetic, so there will be no great change in my approach. Clothes and accessories should, to my way of thinking, be more about style than fashion, and have a sophisticated, timeless quality, rather than be slaves to transient trends." - Giorgio Armani

"It will be a reality check. It will be creativity versus reality. Can they meet in this moment? How will they meet? But in any case, even in this climate, we have to give the audience beauty and something to be excited about and something that stimulates. Enough reasons already to think dark." - Raf Simons

"In any moment of crisis, recession, war, national tragedy, etc., conventional wisdom holds that fashion gets more serious and sober. But if you look at the history of fashion, that idea has never really been borne out by facts. From a business standpoint, many designers will be forced to focus on classics and easy sells. But from a creative standpoint, chaos and collapse can lead to great things and new beginnings. I think a little bit of creative destruction can be healthy and bracing." - Patrik Ervell

"Am I still going to be alive in 2009? I really hope so. I am a designer; I will go on designing until I die. This is my way of talking about 2009, 2010…" - Yohji Yamamoto

Men.Style recently featured an article entitled 'Forward Thinkers', where they asked 10 top designers what they thought 2009 held for menswear. Each designer gave a different yet interesting view, and I thought I would share my four favourite quotes from the selection.

Giorgio Armani made a straightforward prediction in the light of the global economic downturn, the idea of returning back to classic and timeless designs. I especially liked his statement that 'clothes and accessories should, to my way of thinking, be more about style than fashion'. Spending more on key pieces is a method that is often overlooked however will no doubt make a prominent return this coming year. Something such as a pair of shoes or winter coat are things that one can comfortably spend a little more on. For example, spending on a coat is a smart choice, as in colder weather it is the outermost layer and covers the majority of the wearer, making it a very important focal point both literally and stylewise.

Raf Simons' statement raised an issue that is often at the forefront of my mind when thinking about fashion and analysing the latest collections. The balance between creativity and reality can at times be a precarious decision, yet it is the designers who play with this balance unexpectedly that create the new boundaries in fashion. Whereas ready to wear shows are more about reality, couture crosses the line into wonderous creativity and vision.

I enjoyed Patrik Evrell's comment on how creative destruction can be a healthy thing. Economic theory makes clear the cycles, with periods of increase and equally periods of decline. It is from the stark decline, which although is inevitable both in its occurence and resulting shockwaves, that a leading towards new creativity and new directions for fashion that would have otherwise be unsought are made.

Finally there is the statement from Yohji Yamamoto, which struck home to me, as it is something my father often says. Keep doing what you love, to the best of your ability, and do not worry about the things you have no control over. For me, Yohji's statement simply says 'Enjoy...'

Currently playing: The Garment Renaissance ft. Method Man & Cappadonna - RZA



  1. Love Yohji Yamamoto's statement! Enjoy your moment right now :)

  2. Awesome, thanks for these! I'm not soooo into menswear but it's interesting to read perspectives on it

  3. I love what armani said.... I always believe that it's all about style instead of fashion ...and I also do believe that good quality clothe in classic cuts are worth investing in :) Interesting post, as always

  4. i like what armani says: "eople will want to purchase clothes that have a longer life span and are therefore a better investment."

  5. They're all smart and clued in in their own ways. Very cool.

  6. Yes, I completely agree with the last statement!

    And I especially like Raf Simons' "creativity versus reality", I'm curious to see the result.

  7. Amen. but not really easy to do.
    Some people are lucky enough to find something they love.

    for me... I'm having such a hard time finding things I love. Not easy...