with the current economic climate, luxury labels should look into marketing to this new demographic. it's a cute little story, but the writer is on to something here... check it out:
The Next Level | Boys With Birkins
By ELIZABETH SPIRIDAKIS
See ya, Julia; bye-bye, Chloe; later, Beyoncé. I’ve cleared out my mental file of Why-can’t-I-be-her? style icons and have no more time for the same old girls in an epic shoe and must-have bag. These days, I am all about boys … in an epic shoe and must-have bag.
Perhaps you haven’t really noticed yet, but fashion-forward men, like my new trinity of adoration — Bryan Boy, Yu Masui and Jean-Paul Paula — have been feminizing their ensembles and pushing past females in the next-level department. And I, for one, am rapt.
The look, to be clear, is not at all about cross-dressing. It’s men dressing mostly like men but with accessories and the odd (Prada lace) halter from the women’s department. It’s so genius that it makes you wonder why every guy doesn’t do this. It also makes me think I am getting sartorially lazy; it’s time to step up the game.
Believe me, to see Yu Masui in tattered khakis and an old white tee beneath a Jil Sander spring/summer ‘08 sheer color-block dress is to know that you are really not thinking outside the box.
I’m obviously not the only one with a folder on my desktop that’s full of pictures of boys with Birkins and Balenciaga; Marc Jacobs had Cole Mohr model the dresses for the Marc by Marc Jacobs fall ‘08 women’s campaign (the vibe and style of which is more than a little bit of an homage to Bryan Boy), and Marc himself has taken on a man skirt and leggings as his daily uniform. The Paris shows for men just ended, and I counted at least five collections that included dresses or skirts. While that touches upon something in the ether, I would have liked to see some statement jewels or maybe a bro clutch. Is that too much to ask? Maybe for spring/summer ‘10, if the three men below have any say in the matter.
Bryan Boy, 22, internationally loved fashion superblogger at bryanboy.com. Lives in Manila.
Why he’s on my inspiration board: Because he has achieved the holiest of fashion grails, as far as I am concerned: fall-winter ‘08 Marc Jacobs featured a BB bag, inspired by him. Three guesses as to Bryan’s handbag of choice. As if that weren’t reason enough, he makes late-night Lanvin purchases on the Internet (leopard print clutch, thank you very much) and dressed like an LV Richard Prince naughty nurse for Halloween. Oh, and he has a Birkin.
First foray into the feminine realm: When he wore his mother’s pearls to accessorize his “dreadful” Catholic school uniform.
What’s your fashion philosophy? “Gender is irrelevant whenever I admire something. I like what I like and if I can afford something, I buy it.”
Why go gal? “I’m a rather pixie-sized guy. I’m 5′8″, 5′9″ and relatively slim. Back in the dark ages (let’s not even go there), finding clothes that fit skinny boys was so hard. Those 24-inch CK jeans were (emphasis on ‘were,’ haha) my best friend! Growing up in the ’90s, the whole men’s-wear scene was so different than what it is now. Everyone was big, bulky, ripped and testosterone-charged — Marcus Schenkenberg, is dat chu? How can a slim, lithe, Asian teenage boy relate to that?”
Spring obsessions: “Lanvin tees and bags, Balmain jackets, Givenchy legging pants and everything Gareth Pugh.”
Who is killing it these days? “Lady Gaga!”
Which male celebrity on the scene could use a touch of the androgyne? “That boy from ‘Twilight.’” [Editor: Robert Pattinson. … I totally agree, by the way.]
Style icon: “I don’t have icons, per se, but I greatly admire Diane Pernet. The movie ‘Clueless’ (’Mean Girls’ doesn’t even come close) played a huge influence in my teenage years. And, of course, Francine Pascal’s ‘Sweet Valley’ books — Team Jessica Wakefield all the way!”
Buy or borrow? “Buy! After I bought my Birkin three years ago, I basically couldn’t eat for four months because I was so broke.”
Which women’s designer is really making collections that are fitted for boys? “Balenciaga, Rick Owens, Ann Demeulemeester (who is already quite androgynous), Balmain and Givenchy.”
Anna or Carine? “Where’s the Aliona Doletskaya option? Anna Wintour, of course! I admire Carine’s influential point of view and fresh take on things, but will she stand the test of time?”
Yu Masui, 29, fashion writer. Lives in London.
Why he’s on my inspiration wall: Because he wears neoprene neon floral Balenciaga and a hamburger purse. With shorts. Please. No-brainer.
First foray into the feminine realm: Vivienne Westwood rocking-horse shoes. “I actually bought those shoes for the first day at uni. In Japan, there is a ceremony for the first day of school and your parents attend as well. My parents freaked out when I came out of the house wearing them!”
What’s your fashion philosophy? “Look ridiculous in the best designers’ clothes. I’ve never wanted to look cool in my life. My entire life is like a joke anyway. But I don’t like wearing costumes on the street. A costume is not fashion, and what I try to do is fashion.”
Why go gal? “Clothes are getting more and more borderless, like the new YSL unisex collection. Women’s wear always takes ideas from men’s wear, so why can’t men’s get influence from women’s? Anyway, the biggest reason is men’s wear is more boring than women’s wear!!”
Buy or borrow? “Buy! What is the point of borrowing? Shopping is the most fun part of life, and that’s all I do every day. Also, I can’t just have things for one day; I wanna own them and style them different ways.”
Your bag of the moment? “I used to buy bags from Balenciaga, Prada, etc. — the latest look or key trends every season. But at the end of the day I didn’t really use them. After I bought them, I forgot about them. I like Carine’s no-handbag policy.”
Anna or Carine? “Defo, Carine! Anna is too conservative for me to understand.”
Spring obsessions: “Christopher Kane! I found many things that I want. I actually bought black trousers with big sequins from fall/winter ‘08/’09 and love them!
“Obviously my favorite designer is Balenciaga. I want to buy the futuristic pants, and I kinda fancy the multicolored metallic jacket. And I don’t mind that small clutch. I also ordered some Prada from the men’s collection; this spring/summer is very feminine.”
Who is killing it these days? “Mmm … I have no idea, I’m not really interested in celeb kinda things. Maybe my friend Patrick Wolf?”
Which male celebrity on the scene could use a touch of the androgyne? “Many male celebs are too fit and masculine; it could be difficult … and can be ugly.”
Style icon? “I’ve never been influenced by others for style. I know who I am and what I am wearing.”
Which women’s designer is really making collections that are fit for boys? “I don’t think anyone really does — they are made for women. There are not that many guys who look great in dresses anyway. Although some designs from the past few years by Balenciaga could be good on guys.”
Jean-Paul Paula, 22, stylist/model/designer/editor at Mykro magazine, and blogs at jeanius.blogspot.com. Lives in Amsterdam.
Why he’s on my inspiration wall: Turbans with sneakers? Margiela black bar sunglasses with a jumpsuit? An entire blog post devoted to “Paris Is Burning”? Take your pick. Jean-Paul makes me do things like save photos of him and send out e-mails saying, “Who is this?! I must know.” What I like best about him is that a lot of his looks are the same as those of a lot of the cooler-than-you Euro female editors at the shows, but his attitude and haircut blow them all away.
What’s your fashion philosophy? “I don’t dress to appeal to a possible partner. I dress to impress myself! A few years ago I promised myself to try out every clothing style that appealed to me, whether it be goth, punk or dandy. I bought what I liked, made certain looks work for me, and thus found a way to dress that I could call ‘me.’”
First foray into the feminine realm: “I took the easy way, I guess. I started with parts of an outfit and then I found problems finding what I wanted in my size, so I bought women’s clothes because they fit better. I guess the shoes were the last touch. I started wearing them about two years ago.”
Why go gal? “I think men tend to buy some items that are originally made for women because they can’t find them made for men. A nice Chanel jacket, for example. It’s only since men started buying them that they are being made especially for men. But even then in a very much different fit. And since we started using makeup, why not have a good bag, too? Be it a clutch or shopper.”
Spring obsessions: “I’m a big fan of the spring/summer collection of Juun J. I would like the corset Alexander McQueen showed in his last collection, and I wouldn’t mind getting the whole 11th look with it, to be honest. I would love to have the jacket of the 11th look of Balenciaga. Gareth Pugh tights and heels, if Beyoncé doesn’t use ‘em all up before I get to have a look at them. A pair of leather pants from Givenchy, and again I wouldn’t mind to have the whole 32nd look. Also, the Gianfranco Ferré shirts and dresses are to die for.”
Who is killing it these days? “Sonny Groo and Majid Karrouch — my best friends, my colleagues, my inspiration.”
Which male celebrity on the scene could use a touch of the androgyne? “Vincent Gallo, Thom Browne, Marc Jacobs and Rick Owens. They would look genius in a pair of heels!
Style icon: “Is Grace Jones too easy? I remember as a child seeing her in “A View to a Kill,” and being horrified. But she looked so amazingly beautiful in that movie.”
Buy or borrow? “Up until now I have always bought. I prefer it that I way, I like to own what I wear. But I’m not shy, and I wouldn’t mind to borrow.”
Which women’s designer is really making collections that are fit for boys? “It depends on the collection, but Ann Demeulemeester, Balenciaga, Jill Sander, Calvin Klein and Yves Saint Laurent. It’s a pretty broad group with diverse designs for powerful women. But I can pull off most of their looks.”
Anna or Carine? “There is no ‘or.’ There is only both in the same position, in different parts of the world. Anna in America and Carine in France, and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way.”
(article from themoment.blogs.nytimes.com)