There are times I look through menswear collections and my mind becomes just completely boggled. What on earth were you thinking when you designed that? Who in their right mind would sell that in their store? Who's going to buy that? and most importantly who the hell is going to WEAR that? Yes, I know menswear is generally more conservative then womenswear so we all tend to enjoy a man who takes a bit of a risk when dressing himself. Pink shirt, okay. Skinny jeans, fine. We've even already accepted Kanye West's skirt wearing. However, there are some collections that are just straight up CRAY. This is why, I believe, the task of being a male model is a tricky one. You literally can't prepare yourself for this shit.
Exhibit A: Jeremy Scott's SS12 collection. Although this was two years ago, it's somehow my earliest recollection of a menswear collection I severely questioned. That said, I must preface this by saying that I love Jeremy Scott and think that he's a brilliant designer. There is rarely a collection of his that I don't like, including this one. The aspirations were clear, creativity and originality- definitely there, fun and figure flattering- yes. However, the menswear portion of this season's looks- WHAT!? Assless chaps are dope, but what man, gay or straight, is going to walk around in one of the looks below in a serious way. No one. Halloween costume, maybe. Themed party, sure. But I can't see Jeremy Scott devotees like Jay-Z and A$AP Rocky rapping onstage in cow print plastic assless chaps (OMG that would be great). Luckily, whoever does Scott's casting picked models who know how to have a good time in whatever look they're wearing.
Exhibit B: Yoko Ono for Opening Ceremony. Just in time for the holidays John Lennon's widower, Yoko Ono, collaborated with Opening Ceremony to produce a menswear collection inspired by her late husband's rockin' bod. No, really, I'm not paraphrasing that. We all knew that John and Yoko had an amazing sex life, but 40 years later Yoko confirms it through fashion. Hot pink mesh long sleeve shirts with shoulder cut-outs, two hundred dollar jock straps, belts with attached bells on them- this collection really is everything...ridiculous. I will hand it to Yoko though, it's refreshing to see a celebrity actually taking the time to design a collection rather than just slab a name on it. Also, major props to the OC boys for taking those product photos like champs.
Exhibit C: J.W. Anderson's FW13 Collection. This collection is what triggered this post. I was looking through the London menswear shows and my jaw literally dropped at J.W. Anderson's. This collection wins the "WTF were you thinking when you made that!?" award. Unlike the previously mentioned collections, the models in this show could not pose or walk the pain and misery out of their eyes. Please tell me, what man would feel comfortable walking seriously down a runway infront of the most powerful writers, editors, and photographers in the world wearing what looks like a dress out of Victoria Beckham's closet? That's right, not many.
So there you have it. The next time someone introduces themselves as a male model, do not roll your eyes or cease the conversation. These men do things that most would never do for money. The photographs of them doing it live on the internet forever. Keep on keeping on male models. You are the fashion industry's soldiers.