Sunday, June 9, 2019

BEAUTY: Clothing--Per Götesson

Per Götesson's Spring Summer '20 collection at London Fashion Week Men's might not have been visually spectacular, but it sprung from a very important and society-shifting concept.

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about challenging and eradicating "toxic masculinity", and while a large group of men and women simply do not understand what is meant by that phrase and wrongly interpret it to mean that men themselves are under attack, it is actually the artificial tropes and exaggerated behavior historically forced upon men that is under attack. It is the ways men have been lied to about who they are, how they should behave, what they need to do and say or not do and say, all to be "male" that is under attack, and rightfully so. These exaggerated behaviors and stereotypical ways of being "male" are largely responsible for the global mess we find ourselves in, financially, politically, spiritually, and culturally. Toxic masculinity prevents men from relating to others and to themselves in a healthy, authentic, human way. It is the root of racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and homophobia. So for this collection, Per Götesson was working with the idea of masculinity being something other than what we have been culturally instructed to believe it to be. "For me, masculinity is radical and romantic. This new masculinity I’m trying to grasp is inclusive and I guess a more creative approach of being," said Götesson backstage.

Like I said, the pieces might not have been unique and imaginative visually speaking, but that was by design. He took de rigeur tee shirts, jeans, trench coats, and leather pants, and gave them an oblique twist. Notice how almost everything has an unfinished edge, a raw hem, trailing fabric. It is as if the masculine sartorial vernacular here is coming undone, being rearranged, becoming loose, free, and flowing, referencing the idea that masculinity itself is an exciting work in progress. Pieces end up ruched and draped, making a more interesting silhouette. Hopefully the idea of what it means to be male will become more interesting as well.

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