Men of colour and substance

Up until a year or two ago, the most common annoyance that my mom offered to me, as fantastic as she was, concerned my clothing.

"You wear too much black. It's depressing, why do you wear so much black?" I was, really, far and away from what you may now be thinking, and I may as well clear this up before it taints the rest of our time with each other; I only liked the Smiths because Morresey's voice caught. No terribly self-despairing poetry, no black nail polishes, and I learned to smoke while hanging around outside emo concerts while my friends rocked shit inside. It wasn't, and remains far from my scene.

The simple truth was that black was all there was. Black was reinvented in the late nineties and early years of the 21st century, from the triumphant return of the mighty little black dress, to the near fetish levels of black leather in the Matrix. It crept into every facet of fashion then open to me (as an awkward teenager dude) and was, therefore, inescapable. Sneakers, shirts, sweaters... and if you were feeling 'saucy', jeans all mostly came in black. Despite the fact that people remained freaked out on some level about people who wear mostly-to-only black, it dominated style for a decade, and remains a primary style choice as a basic principle.

I'm really happy this
isn't me

I'm wearing a black shirt as I write this.

But of course fashion's tastes change, as they tend to, and colour in men's clothes is alive once again! Rising from their dulled and darkly toned place behind black, colours in menswear have become not only more vibrant, but more active, bringing the new styles an overwhelming feeling of life.

The Don Cardigan

Orisue provides a stylin' urban look with solid colours for sweaters, cardigans and t-shirts, accompanied by the Artful Dodger, Triko, SCIFEN, Durkl, and The Loots.


Men are showing a spring lineup that hearkens back to the days of free love and LSD-friendly patterns and colours with brands like Etro hitting the retro wave with the subtlety of a jackhammer, yet self-satirizing.


Of course we must consider the entirty of the fashion world, when we remember to. Though loud colours and lively styles are working their way back into the mainstream of men's style, Asiatic cultures have mastered the art. Despite being on the point furthest from Beijing-to-Seoul they can get without swimming, one third of the student body at my 'prestigious' school is on a student visa from China, Korea or Japan, and daily I marvel at the fresh perspective on fashion they bring with them. "Street Fashion" (a cover-all term for a wide range of style) is a part of what many people in the West sometimes view as an Asian oddity since some examples of it they've seen include elaborate costumes, or gothic lolita, or other such eye catching outfits that instantly betray Western restraint. The truth of the matter is far more exciting. Designers approach fashion with few limits in mind, the body a canvas for personal expression not to defy or challenge conventional style, but to communicate only to those who share their style their ideas. As famed photographer Shoichi Aoki explained "You show your feelings, your awareness of fashion. It has no social context whatsoever. They don’t care at all about how other people in society or how other groups see them."


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