I like to curb my tongue when it comes to discussing menswear, because in my opinion I don’t know enough about them to have a seat at the round-table. But then in fact, clothes are still just clothes and so long as we can connect to them, then we can very well talk about them. Yes?
The thing is, menswear sometimes stand the risk of being a bore since a number of designers never veer off emphasizing rigid structures in form of the Suit and Tie, which has –by the way– been revamped and revised to a point where it’s never really that exciting any more.
But then, there’s menswear that begs to digress. Maybe, just maybe because some of them are actually designed by women who happen to understand that fashion should be fun, regardless of gender. Or alternatively, the men who design have found a way to connect to and convey laid-back, softer yet more adventurous outlooks through silhouettes that would thrill you on sight.
Take the Orange Culture man for example, who apparently just wants to look good and doesn’t seem compelled to lend an ear to what should or shouldn’t be. He draws inspiration from where he pleases and makes it work. Spot the neck scarf, the pleats playing peek-a-boo, the shorts, then that bag casually slung across his torso and see how each compliments the other, easily.
At this point, we (women and girls alike) can’t really just let the men have this moment, because well… we want it to. But then fashion is for everyone, and so long as it doesn’t sell out, we can all have a piece.
Lukhanyo Mdingi on the other hand explored monotones using fabrics that very well connotes a sense of comfort, and speaks for the man who likes to simultaneously keep it simple and stylish.
Then there’s Kola Kuddus who took on turbans with a mix of traditional and English pieces, throwing in prints at unexpected points in a manner that’s very unlike him. For this look though, I’ll say “take the tunic, leave the shorts”
A summation of Julia Mpoko‘s collection conveyed clean but precisely-detailed minimalist aesthetics with white and a blend of dark hues taking center stage. Then there’s this black ensemble, the kind you take straight off the runway without alterations. It’s so simple that you’d never quite expect it to feel so perfect, but then it does.
There’s the thing with backpacks that makes an outfit undeniably cool. Though for this look, the shirt and shorts combo take prominence. It’s the way both, again, make me wonder how menswear can sometimes achieve this seamless unification between masculinity and femininity, bringing me to the point where I state that maybe if I could dress my man, I’d put him in this. Leaving out the gladiators, of course.
Now, I’ve seen stripes over and again, but never really in this form. Projecto Mental tastefully executes it in such a way that if you, once thought you were over them, you just might start reconsidering.
Before you cringe –or not, key into the comfort this outfit promises. Maybe for a sunny day on the beach, long walks, or city tours. Take the look apart piece by piece, and I’m sure you too would find something that works.
And on a final note, I’m here to extol designers who create head to toe looks by putting everything about an outfit into consideration, even down to the footwear. Because I mean, if they’ve given us the clothes, why send us somewhere else for the rest?
Image credits: SDRPhoto , South African Menswear Week