Five Menswear Designers You Should Know About
Men’s clothes have long been a topic of interest. While women are more likely to read fashion coverage, there’s no shortage of gents that care about what they wear.
Hedi Slimane helped blur the line between Menswear and Womenswear with his razor thin rock n roll androgynous aesthetic for Dior Homme in the early noughties. His collection influenced many of today’s young designers who still look to him for inspiration.
If ever there was a man who knows how to throw a fashion party, it’s Hedi Slimane. After reintroducing skinny silhouettes to the men’s world in his Black Tie collection for Yves Saint Laurent back in 2000, the French designer has since gone on to make his mark as the creative director of Dior Homme and, more recently, at Celine. He has also launched a number of fragrances and designed the packaging for them, and he has even worked with musical artists to produce creative campaign images, including musicians such as David Bowie, Jack White and Franz Ferdinand.
For his latest show, Slimane staged a men’s runway in the mythical Paris nightclub Le Palace, where glam rock neo-skater girls once frolicked with the likes of Grace Jones and Karl Lagerfeld. It’s a setting Menswear that resonated with Slimane because it conjures up a heady mix of heteroclite influences, perfectly reflecting the spirit of Gen-Z, his audience.
The show was a spectacle, but it was the underlying codes that mattered. It’s a formula that’s proven successful at the houses he has run, and he has threaded those same codes into the DNA of both Kering and LVMH (Hedi oversees both Saint Laurent and Celine). Dark skinny suiting from Dior Homme is now in the genetic code of LVMH-owned Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen and Celine. Flowy hooded capes and baby doll dresses, rock-n-roll pinstripes, four-pocket military jackets and pinch-toed high heels all feature heavily in this collection.
A self-taught Austrian artist, Helmut Lang is perhaps best known for the clothes he designed for his label of the same name. A cult brand in the Nineties, the designer’s sexy suits and sleek dresses were worn by everyone from Kate Moss to Courtney Love. Lang’s style dicta and strict production standards created a line of clothing that was both timeless and forward-thinking. He was also a pioneer for showing collections before they were available in stores, upending the traditional Milan-London-Paris schedule.
After selling his company in 2004 and retiring from the industry, Lang became a contemporary artist. Using his own burned archive as materials for his work, the artist has created a body of new work that fuses fashion with art. The artist’s work is a reminder of how much influence and power fashion can have.
Currently, the label Helmut Lang is owned by Japanese holding company LTH Theory. The brand has been re-launched by American-New Zealand designer couple Michael and Nicole Colovos, who have revived the label with a more commercial aesthetic. The duo’s collection is characterized by clean lines and minimalist silhouettes, a perfect fit for today’s casual lifestyle.
Shop the HELMUT LANG sale for men to find a wide variety of wardrobe staples. From long-sleeve T-shirts to hoodies and jackets, these pieces are sure to add an elegant touch to any look. The collection is made from the finest fabrics such as Scottish cashmere and Spanish nappa leather.
Yohji Yamamoto is a Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris. He is known for his avant-garde clothes that use holes and asymmetric designs in black. He is considered a master tailor alongside designers like Madeleine Vionnet and his eponymous label, as well as his menswear collection Y’s and his Y-3 sportswear line created in collaboration with adidas, have become internationally successful.
Born in 1943, he was raised by his mother who owned a dressmaking shop in the Kabukicho district of Tokyo. She encouraged him to follow in her footsteps and he received a law degree from Keio University, but abandoned his career to pursue his talent for fashion. He opened Y’s in 1972 and designed women’s dresses that evoked gothic and retro atmospheres, with a touch of rebellion.
He grew tired of highly feminine clothes that revealed the body and started to focus on designing clothing that guarded and protected women. He was fascinated by couturieres like Madeleine Vionnet and Chanel and his designs became increasingly sophisticated.
In 1992 he added red to his palette, which he has used in his subsequent collections. He has also reinterpreted military inspirations with a softer, more feminine touch. Blue overalls that echoed Elsa Schiaparelli’s 1939 bomb shelter suits and dresses that were as delicate as silk were among his most memorable creations.
Hood By Air
A decade later, a new version of Hood by Air has been relaunched with a direct-to-consumer line alongside archival and runway collections. With a cult-like following that extends to the likes of actor Yves Tumor and rapper IAMX, the brand’s founder Shayne Oliver’s vision has cemented itself as a benchmark for global, metropolitan masculinity. Its men’s clothing supplier stance on gender and identity subversion was a precursor to the current zeitgeist, with its echoes felt from Paris to Seoul.
On Saturday, the brand’s fans gathered at a dark and smoky enclosed tent in downtown Los Angeles to see the new “Hallways” collection as part of fashion showcase MADE LA. With a backdrop of feedback and shrieking screams blasting from the speakers, the show was both visually and aurally provocative.
Oliver’s new clothes embodied the angular, asymmetrical aesthetic of the collection’s titular space. A long black silk shirt dress, for instance, was a piece of art that seemed both feminine and masculine at once—its sleeves resembled a band of ruffles while its front featured crisp collars and oversized chiffon sleeves. Another shirt-dress design featured a band of chainlike zippers that wrapped around the chest, evoking the torso of a chimera.
As for the rest of the show, a slew of models with shaved heads and tattooed faces sported leather shirts, puffer jackets that were reimagined as capes, and shirtdresses with a sexy, off-the-shoulder neckline that looked like it was pulled back to reveal a double-breasted top underneath. These looks were paired with mirrored cowboy boots with toes pointed in two directions—a nod to the double-footed dancing that is characteristic of the GHE20G0TH1K party scene, which has been a major influence on Oliver’s work.