19 January 2015

The Importance of Menswear in Fashion

In the eyes of many, menswear appears to be somewhat limited in its form. Black or white shirt? Jeans or chinos? Roll neck or V-neck? With shows currently taking place in Milan, Miuccia Prada was eager to enlighten us on the influence menswear has on womenswear and the artistic license that can be taken by designers embarking on such collections.

Menswear collections are created with significantly less pressure than womenswear collections as they form on average a mere 9% of company turnover, meaning less thinking and more creating. "When you do the women's, you're obliged to have more and more and more, and you are never able to do what sometimes you really care most about" Prada announced in front of a large, vulturous audience comprising of the press and fashion's elite. Upon hearing this, I wouldn't blame you for expecting something extremely elaborate and over-the-top; a rainbow of colour or maybe even enough contrasting prints to ache your eyes, yet still have you refusing to look away.

The result? A collection which was in no way, shape, or form, left to the interpretation of the viewer. Almost all black and carrying a modern uniformity throughout, looks differed mainly through varied textile use such as nylon and slender cuts which looked to be a nod to the nineties. The aim was to portray the collection as a ubiquitous uniform, serving as the most basic representation of a man's wardrobe. “I wanted to make it elegant and modern. What does it mean? I don’t know" She pronounced. Take that as you wish.

Mrs P however, isn't interested in pursuing a Saint Laurent-esque stance in epitomising androgyny. She's focused more on mirroring vital traits of menswear collections: functionality and practicality being key. She's contradicting the normally lavish and exuberant detailing which serves as a platform to impress waiting journalists and potential clients as well as create newsworthy talking points. By borrowing certain aspects of style from our male counterparts, clothes are created which are exactly what the simplistic concept of garmentry was intended to be; a necessity.