Lately a lot of modern menswear gives off the impression of being sexy, immediate, and as little covered as possible. Menswear has also started to pare down the unnecessary, of blouses and tops as seen in a post of Miu Miu womenswear (the SS22 collection is undoubted la the most relevant in terms of aims and trends). By Removing the shirts that were worn under a formal blazer, the tight shape and buttons, and everything else that was left over from unresolved conflicts, such as ties, knots, and belts , symbolically speaking, served to confine a particular conception of masculinity.
The actual challenge for designers is to be able to replicate more recognized silhouettes, yet gender-related societal norms are not the only cause of the problem. And as the body continued to change, the masculine imagination started to wonder if the dress as we were used to viewing it was still relevant in the post-pandemic reality. In the Apeshit music video from 2018, Jay-Z was bare-torso with a blazer by Peter Pilotto. Harry Styles sang while wearing a Gucci leather outfit with a green faux fur buoy at the 2021 Grammy Awards.It has been worn by Lil Nas X so frequently that the reverse would surprise you. Even Tom Holland, who was dressed in a Prada suit, wore it on the cover of Esquire in February 2021. The point is that shirtless outfits actually have a much longer and more developed history: Jean-Paul Gaultier used the shirtless design as a subversive ploy to give authority to underground subcultures with his first men’s collection in 1983, as well as Raf Simons’ work during the 1990s or Vivienne Westwood’s.
And, long before the catwalks showed off their expressive potential—to cite just a few—Maison Margiela SS16, Dries Van Noten SS17, Alexander McQueen AW18, and Zegna SS19—it was typical to see rock or punk vocalists donning a shirtless outfit, frequently baring their torso. Subcultures have grown in strength and new ones have emerged in the meantime; it is no accident that soft boys have started to dress in pastel hues, jewelry, and shirtless jackets. Timothée Chalamet was one of them and he appeared at the most recent Oscars without a shirt and a sparkling women’s jacket from Louis Vuitton. Kim Jones started the process when he was appointed creative director of Dior Home in 2018. His deconstruction of menswear used the folds of a form without any obvious gender cues and a limited color palette. Silvia Venturini of Fendi performed on the same waveline and had already reinterpreted the male wardrobe with the SS22 show in the form of a cropped jacket without a shirt.Because of this, the question is extremely unstable: while menswear continues to suggest and produce blazers in the strictest sense of the word, as evidenced by the first looks from Prada’s SS23 show, it is also experimenting with forms of design and styling that subvert the sense of security provided by the formal.With his most recent show, Thom Browne staged a blazer teamed with a resemblance of a tweed bra, breaking his relationship with safety. As with the jockstrap-wearing models, there is actually very little subversion here; rather, the act of challenging formal attire in all of its elements is the outpost of a narrative conflict that will continue to drive catwalks, fashion, and society.