The “nouveau sexist” (not, feminist) might be having a field day labeling a new breed of men as either dandy, effeminate or passing them as too inessential to even talk about; but seems like men in the modern world are no longer bothered about shedding traditional stereotypes! Men are taking giant strides in dropping labels(metrosexual etc.) – This turning point is already in existence and full force now and in the process creating a whole new identity!
Perhaps the best explanation of this transition is adapted from Martina Navratilova’s quote: Labels are for filing. Labels are for clothing. Labels are not for people.
Men are giving importance to appearance more than ever and some would like to believe that men are evolving fast to recession-proof themselves. Image and appearance have suddenly become the benchmarks for survival in the wake of post-economic downturn.
It started years back – I call the “years of reckoning” phenomenon – when men made fashion statement of sorts accepting a very modernist take on classic (slim fit suits for example); gleefully accepting flamboyance of colors, fabrics -velvet/silk (as opposed to wearing traditional fabrics), seams to stitches, sleeves to collars and silhouettes showing a multifaceted dynamism.
Almost everything concerning men’s perception of machismo has got into a constant state of influx and evolution and inadvertently has become an agent of change.
There is a whole new industry that’s re-birthing, re-inventing, being re-written and re-wired as we speak! Conglomerates are spending millions on launching products and services that especially cater to the men-kind. Infact, this has also spawned a whole new terminology than an industry:
Man-icures, Man-facials, Man-Spas – Moisturizing lotions are so passé! Enter whitening & lightening, Eye and Anti-aging creams that have increasingly become a staple of a modern man’s must-have grooming kit.
Man-polish – Nail polish/ Nail paint. No longer, punk n’ hippy folklore – on the contrary, quite mainstream and being hailed as a new trend with Hollywood hot crop like Brad Pitt, Zac Efron,Johnny Depp and David Beckham!
Meggings – Men in “Tights” literally, the Man-leggings have become a fashion staple for the hip and happening men – more Shoreditch than Chelsea!
Man-spanx – Magic knickers, waist cinchers, man-corsets, mirdle etc. etc. from full body shapers, butt shapers, chest shapers thigh shapers, waist shapers to torso enhancers, abs enhancers and the list is endless!
Murse, Man-clutch – Man-Purse! Enough said!
Man-buns – Another solid 2015 trend. While 2014 men and beards became synonymous, 2015 will be about long-hair neatly tied up in a knot.
Coming to Bradley Cooper! His recent photoshoot for the W magazine – manscaped, bare-chested complete with leg-poser is a serious contender to Angelina Jolie’s red carpet leg pose at the Oscars couple of years back. He pulls off two Man-trends besides totally rocking at portraying the quintessential modern man of today, who is completely at ease with his unabashed sexuality and individuality:
Man-scaping: A term used to describe the process of trimming or eliminating body hair. Smooth and well-groomed!
Man-heels: Platforms and enormous wedges and I’m not talking about boots for desert safari or rock climbing. Or, platform heels to counter dwarfism of sorts. This is a serious trend!
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Men have constantly been challenging stereotypical boundaries past few years and now channeling a collective belief – that looking good, having a strong interest in shopping, fashion, beauty and style and knowing the art of dressing up and self-expression is no longer a women-only dominion! This is also birthing a new trend in the industry on gender-neutral fashion i.e. fashion appealing to both men and women..seemingly more androgynous and unisexual. I will be talking about it more in my next post.
A fleeting note on menswear. Critics say that menswear is boring, drab and inconsequential and designers who try anything different (meaning quirkier) than the usual hoo-hah are labeled overzealous and their innovation costumey – a confusing orgy of weirdness. But, I say menswear is having a reckoning now and men are having a moment of their own in the women-centric business of fashion.