Who can ever say where a trend comes from? Perhaps it’s from constant market research, exhaustive attention to design innovations and industry data. Perhaps a trend is born from a dialectic between a free-flowing capitalist system and an ongoing evolution of zeitgeist and public mood. Perhaps it comes from a stylist just waking up from drug-addled night of cycling between binging, crying, tweeting, masturbating, crying some more, and making pizza bagels. Where ever the next fresh trend comes from, we all know at least one thing: the idea won’t be original.
Men’s fashion hasn’t had an original thought since the acid wash coverall. The last 20 seasons or so have just been the co-opting of one sub-culture after another, or a rehashing/rebranding of said co-optation. I would submit that after about 1983, we’ve basically been relieving the same 4 or 5 major trends over and over, like some kind of sartorial Groundhog’s Day without the balanced poise of Andie MacDowell.
We’ve gone through the 80s look, raided the troves of lumberjacks with the grunge look, acted tough with hip hop’s prison-inspired garb, grabbed up looks from skaters and punk rockers and bike messengers, then went back to the 80s, then back to the early 90s for awhile, then back to the 80s, and now we’re still getting stuff from the 80s, but we’ve also reached way, way, way the fuck back and started taking stuff from the (18)80s, bringing along another go on lumberjacks just for good measure. Throw in their any number of vintage inspirations, and it’s hard to say where we’re going next.
Nevertheless, we’ll soon be co-opting another sub-culture/social class for their functional yet symbolic costumes, in the ongoing attempt to bring a shred of meaning to our own existence. Here’s a few groups who should be watching their backs (before we take the shirts right off of them!)
J.Crew had a fireman’s jacket out in Spring/Summer but I’m sure we’ll be seeing something like it back again. Firemen have got everything your fashion fan could want: a functional, waterproof, fire-resistant wardrobe, complete with awesome boots and accessories, and an awesome ride with built-in buddies. Sweet. The main problem is that a fireman’s outfit typically isn’t form fitting, nor are the trousers selvedge, but I’m sure APC could take care of that.
Bitches love watches. Especially watches that purport to be able to handle the toughest, most worstest situations. You see, when we’re sitting our at desks buying up the copper market, or blogging about how overcooked Rosario had made last night’s dinner, we need the ultimate in timekeeping technology. And if we need tough watches for that tough brunch we had on Rivington the other day, we might as well suit up with a wet suit, snorkel, and fins.
OK maybe it won’t be literally knights, but I have a strong feeling that eventually a menswear designer will try to really go “way back” and that will mean pulling some shit right out of remote past. Look for caveman outfits, pilgrim hats, and possibly capes to take center stage. The only downside is that fashionistas will complain about how construction techniques have really fallen off since the Inquisition.