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Two’s company, three’s a crowd. It’s getting pretty crowded in here…

Jil Sander [www.wwd.com]

Is this just a slight distraction from the matter at hand (the matter being real clothes for real men)? A ruse to be taken at face value, photographed a few times in I.D. magazine and then buried in that casket labelled “Implausible Ideas in Menswear”? Or is there more to this idée fixe than meets the eye?

This season has produced some stellar clothes so I wonder why so many designers couldn’t leave it just at that. I guess every show needs a showpiece but usually things like that are left to womenswear. Earlier I wrote a post about the emasculation of men in relation to this sudden onslaught of “man skirts’ [Skirms] but on reflection I’m starting to wonder if that has anything to do with it at all. Maybe we need to look eastwards at the cloaks of Tibetan monks, the severe tunics of Maoist China or, closer to home, the Vatican City and priestlike cassocks. I could even go further to suggest, controversially, the Taliban and Middle Eastern dress. Is this the brave new frontier, Le Shocking? We’ve been bombarded with so many images of the war and Bin laden that the most “edgy” thing a designer could do is propose a silhouette that hints at this. All those billowing blouses and dropped crothches seen at YSL and Givenchy.

Or maybe I’m reaching here. This really is just a flight of fantasy that will soon enough flit back into the design studio. Let’s see how many of these purveyors of the skirm practice what they preach. The proof of the pudding’s in the eating after all. Or should that be the proof of the skirt is in the wearing?

War or Peace: Draughty times ahead for the man about town