The media’s current favourite portmanteau is “Spornosexual.” Its current favourite garment is the c-string manikini, a cutaway one-sided posing pouch that barely adheres to the pelvis. Modern masculinity, it seems, is in a period of flux and upheaval, where societal norms are shifting and suddenly what men are willing to put on their backs (or, perhaps, around their crotches) seems more malleable than ever before. Ideologically, if not physically.
The question of clothing versus fashion fascinates me. Particularly in menswear, where even at the highest level the lines seem blurred. Clothing does what the name suggests. It clothes a body. But what does fashion do? It’s a noun and a verb. Perhaps fashion is about re-fashioning our bodies, or at least our perceptions of them. You could argue that’s what the pourpoint did – the fourteenth-century foundation garment worn beneath plate armour, heavily-padded on the chest to fill out the convex breastplate, which is acknowledged by many as the starting point of true fashion. Namely, when humans began to use the cut of the cloth to radically alter the shape of the human form. It still clothed the body, of course. But it also did something more. And it was worn by men.
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