This week has seen the Couture designers take to the runway in Paris. Although here on SlamxHype women’s fashion is not a subject which is normally touched upon, perhaps the celebrated Haute Couture week offers a chance to draw comparisons and examine the way in which contemporary menswear is heading.
Although now a term which is widely used, Haute Couture is a legally protected name for womenswear design houses who meet exceptionally high standards of tailoring and who produce bespoke clothing for individuals, using high quality fabrics and design techniques.
Within the past week, houses such as Chanel and Dior have produced outstanding collections for their Haute Couture shows, using inspired design that will inevitably find its way in one form or another into accessible products for the market over the next months and possibly years.
Recently on SlamxHype, pictures were shown from shows in Paris and Milan as part of their men’s fashion week, some of which have been criticised profusely for their lack of design imagination and blurring of style choices. Some brands have also been criticised for their apparent succumbing to ‘high street trend pressure’ in order to maintain popularity – damaging brand credibility.
New brands have also saturated the men’s fashion and contemporary design market in recent years. Trends such as workwear and fashion sportwear have been somewhat taken from its originators and early adopters and turned into something of a gimmick at times in men’s fashion.
All of this combined surely paves the way for a new movement within men’s fashion. Brands at the highest level may now think that now is the time to use the example of Haute Couture in order to lift themselves from the ordinary lines. In the past Saville Row has become synonymous with high quality tailoring in suits, but contemporary menswear goes beyond these limits as brands such as Jean-Paul Gautier and Comme Des Garcons produce increasingly sex-less collections. Contemporary menswear is surely now a large enough market to merit distinction in its ranks? Perhaps such a bold move would have a self-clensing affect on the market as weaker brands are forced out as others try to force their way into such an ‘elite club’?
Such threads of thought have no doubt occured to individuals within men’s design circles over the years, but perhaps now is the time to give it prominence, creating icons, which are after all what people remember. Will a ‘new wave’ of distinguished Haute Couture pave the way for future menswear generations like it has done for womenswear for over 140 years?