Monday, July 1, 2013

Barbie's Eye View: Summer '14 European Menswear Trends

The European menswear catwalk shows for Spring/Summer 2014 have just concluded, leaving some of us to ponder....will monsieur REALLY wear those outrageous clothes we saw in London, Paris and Milan?

Back in the day when I covered menswear collections for "Carnet d'Angeline," the shows were WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get): very wearable suits, sport coats, trousers, jackets and the like. Trends were found in the details. Single back vent or double. How the pants break over the shoe. And, of course, proportions (the size of the lapels, the width of the trousers, the length of the jacket). The most outrageous trend I covered was some designer who had featured six colors in the same outfit and lived to tell about!

In less than 10 years, the market has changed. With the arrival of hip hop and rock stars, gay pride and metrosexuals, casual Fridays... the 3-piece suit is dead and anything goes. Monsieur is quickly regaining his historical position as royal peacock.

However, this being Europe, I must emphasize, the catwalk is used for effect to send a loud message about upcoming trends. Look for lots of graffiti, urban art prints and ethnic patterns splashed over tops, shorts, sweaters, pants and even coats. No, we don't expect guys to wear the catwalk looks. However, don't be surprised to see colorful T-shirts, casual wear and maybe even a "paint spattered" or "grafittied" jeanswear next summer.

Normally, my mission here on FDS, is not to create clothes for male dolls. However, given the nature of the market these days, I may just change my mind! (Two Ken dolls have made their way to my house, offering me the shirt off their plastic backs to make some fun stuff for them.)

In the meantime, we decided to send the "girls" to the men's shows to see what they might be tempted to steal out of Ken's closet. It's an exercise we call, "men's into womenswear." Women's garments inspired by menswear. This is, still another, great source of ideas for both doll sexes. Quite naturally, my (girl) dolls thoroughly enjoyed the most outrageous collections and found LOTS of things they wouldn't mind adapting to their own mode of dress.
Scribble print achieved with a textile marker on cotton in the doll-sized version.
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Hand painted graffiti print on silk.

(Next up: The dolls hit the catwalks at the Fall/Winter 2013-14 Haute Couture, currently on Paris!)

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