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Milan Menswear Fall 2008 Trend: The Return of THE MAN

versacemf0801MILAN, Jan 13, 2008 / FW/ — It’s only the second day of the Milan menswear season and one strong trend that is coming out is that masculinity is back.

For the past few seasons, I have been looking for what will be the new silhouette that will define at least the first two decades of the 21st century. During the Spring 2008 season, menswear designers were experimenting with new materials, hence, I thought that the it will be technology, as in development of new or smart fabrics will be the path that men’s fashion will go.

Yet, as a fashion observer, I have forgotten the most important element of menswear, i.e., the MAN himself. In short, seeing the strong male this season, it is actually refreshing to see him emerge again after years of metrosexuality and pencil thin silhouettes, though it was revolutionary when it was introduced, it already had its time.

As Donatella told reporters yesterday at the Versace Menswear Fall 2008 catwalk presentation, “Menswear is still largely an unexplored territory by a fashion designer,” adding that she believes in the maison’s continual development of this segment.

And though perhaps Donatella was speaking as a designer in terms of artistry and pushing the limits of creativity, she actually made a valid point about menswear largely unexplored.

Though every other person in the planet is male, sales of menswear compared to womenswear has a 35 – 65 or 40 to 60 ratio. Are men buying less clothes than women? Or, are women buying more clothes because they have more to choose from compared to the choices that men have?

If we look at the fashion calendar, more days are given to womenswear than menswear. Case in point, in both Milan and Paris, the menswear season are 4 days only, while the womenswear season is 10 days.

In New York and London, it is almost non-existent. Menswear designers in New York have to be content with being featured during the first day of the season, which by the way, they even have to share the day with womenswear designer.

So, seeing a strong showing in Milan, with designers focusing on THE MAN and not just playing with the silhouettes to be able to sell them is like a breath of fresh air. Maybe, the designers are right. We have to focus on the wearer before we can create a new silhouette for him to wear.

[MARI DAVIS]