As could be expected from the former child star, justin bieber clothing has had many a fashion transformation over the years. He’s done quiffed hair plus a thick gold rapper’s chain. He’s posed looking buff in Calvin Klein pants. He’s experimented with a floppy fringe and a suit. But while some of his attempts to toughen up are already met with derision, the latest element of the Biebvolution is in fact bang about the fashion money. There were ripped jeans. We have seen oversized hoodies, and oversized Nirvana T-shirts using the sleeves hacked off. Crucially, there has been plenty of layering – and a lot of raw edges.
Not all people gets it (“Justin Bieber wears bizarre frayed denim top,” was the Mirror’s reaction to his Marques’Almeida moment on the Radio 1 Teen awards earlier this month) but the latest incarnation of Bieber ties right into a mood that may be sweeping through menswear – and might be arriving in your wardrobe soon.
Simply speaking: scruffiness is hot. Glitzy has gone out. Deliberately undone and messy is at. Think a Wolfgang Tillmans portrait meets 1990s grunge using a tracksuit top and a pierced ear thrown set for good measure. You might dub it a hot mess for men, but the thing you might never refer to it as is hipster – manicured beards should be ditched for haphazard facial hair immediately.
Undoubtedly, Marques’Almeida, the label justin bieber clothing wore for the teen awards, continues to be integral on the rise in popularity of denim as well as jeans that happen to be hacked off and left raw. Basically, if it’s the sort of look which makes parents eyeroll and say: “You bought that? Do want me to get proper hems on those?”, it has legs. Elsewhere on the catwalk, for his spring/summer 2016 menswear show, Raf Simons sent herringbone trousers that were roughly stop in the anklebone, sat above some Stan Smiths. His shrunken tank knits had a sort of moth-eaten, make-do-and-mend thing going on; close up, the holes in these knits are layered across a contrast fabric layer, and, actually, are far nicer than I’ve made them sound.
Justin Bieber’s winter 2015 i-D magazine cover.
This new mood – a kind of anti-luxury luxury – can there be in all of the glossy style magazines, too, although glossy certainly is the wrong word. Bieber’s recent cover shoot for i-D magazine is an excellent reference point. It sees the pop star stripped back – bleached hair, a smattering of stubble, tattoos. Shot by Alasdair McLellan, probably the most in-demand photographers in vogue, these pictures have got a typical masculine rawness. Within a short video to accompany this shoot, you may even see acne on his forehead. Imagine. Meanwhile, Tillmans has shot typically lo-fi stories for your latest Arena Homme including one called How Fragile is it Man?, while the Russian designer and photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy has photographed ballet dancer Sergei Polunin for Man About Town. The latter sees the shaven-headed ballet dancer wearing retro sportswear with eye makeup and a few days worth of facial hair.
Haute scruff was also all over one of the more talked-about moments of your spring/summer 2016 season: the Vetements show, which had been kept in a Chinese restaurant variously referred to as “tacky” (Dazed & Confused), “cheap and cheerful” (Vogue Runway) and “kitschy” (Business of Fashion) and featured clothes that were all deconstructed awkwardness and models who looked like that they had just presented of bed. Most of them weren’t actually models: Rubchinskiy appeared, wearing a DHL T-shirt (yes, like the parcel delivery service); even the show stylist, Lotta Volkova, took a activate the catwalk, closing proceedings in thigh-high boots along with a raw-edged denim miniskirt. The Vetements influence in fashion is only set to keep: once the show, certainly one of Paris’s most historic fashion houses, Balenciaga, announced that its lead designer, Demna Gvasalia, ended up being to become its new creative director.
Rubchinskiy is another in the buzziest names in menswear; since 2012 his label has been supported by Comme des Garçons. His clothes seem like a nerdy undertake Soviet sportswear – think a shellsuit top or 1980s patterned jumper. Snazzy, however, not.
In fact, if all else fails, the true secret to this particular look is really a vintage-style tracksuit top. Gosha or AMI (next season) for men. Chloe (next season) or Bottega Veneta resort for women (see British Vogue’s December issue, in which several tracktops are featured as part of the “new downtown silhouette”). Basically, it’s all a little Damon Albarn circa 1996. Why does this humble zip-up summarize this new anti-luxury luxury? Firstly, since it ticks the 1990s box – and also the dexqpkyy16 has become the decade du jour. Secondly, it’s the exact opposite of all of the justin bieber t shirt which has been the headline news in menswear in the past couple of years. And then finally, it’s very easy to chuck on, doesn’t appear like you’ve made an effort but suggests you are aware of what’s happening. Which feels scruffy and modern indeed.
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