independent

Friday 25 April 2014

Irish men not in androgynous zone

It used to be that it was considered quite effeminate for a man to wear a pink shirt. It was a risque fashion choice that was certain to secure sneers from cross-eyed clubmen, for whom formal wear is a GAA jersey and high hung jeans. It's still hard for some, but the once maligned and marginalised pink shirt is now a firm favourite with Irish men of all ages.

But if the pink shirt was just a step toward replacing the masculine with the feminine then London fashion week must be its end point.

The Spring Collection at this month's London's fashion week featured poodle-fringed men in short tunics, lace halternecks, leather straightjackets, frilly short shorts and other designs that seemed to have their synthesis in some surreal nightmare.

The great irony is that the most effective expression of the male 'effeminate' look in London were the designs of Derry man Jonathan Anderson, the son of former Irish rugby international, Willie Anderson, a man more masculine than Tom Selleck's moustache.

Among Anderson's London collection were a cream-coloured sleeveless leather tunic and a backless floral halter top, neither of which I'd expect to see sported at your local anytime soon.

The communication from the collection of Anderson and others was clear, androgyny is in.

But as with Irish men just about accepting the pink shirt, it's likely, as with most other male fashion trends, Ireland may be behind the curve when it comes to the feminisation of man.

Christopher Jackson

Irish Independent

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