"I pass classical marble statues of nude and draped figures in the park every day, and they are a vision of sensuality — yes, but also of grace and freedom," explains the generally go-his-own way designer Rick Owens about his Fall 2015 menswear collection. "As a participant in one of our most progressive aesthetic arenas, am I not allowed to use this imagery? Is it only appropriate for a Michael Fassbender movie? I thought this might be an interesting question.”
Indeed, the "portholes" cut into the Mad Max-worthy badass tunics through which some of the male models' equipment could be seen managed to shock the self-consciously been-there-done-that front row crowd, exposing them for the provincial prudes they typically are. For this alone, I applaud Owens. “We all know that runway looks aren’t meant to be taken literally, they illustrate an ethos," he continues. "Boys with their dicks out is such a simple, primal, childish gesture. It's a little bit of juvenile transgression." But transgressions on a mission. "I would like to present a utopian world of grace free of fear and shame."
Where one can openly go commando.
The question of course beyond why people found a few peeks of peen so "disturbing" is why is it up on a high-fashion runway in the first place?
IMO, it reflects the tension and uncertainly felt by so many men in today's riotgrrrl-power-centric society. On the extreme end of the emasculated spectrum, we find the misogyny of the Men's Rights Movement. "Feminists claim they want equality but what they really want is power without responsibility," reads the first sentence of "fundamental" beliefs endorsed by one of the more popular Men's Rights sites. And this one of their more printable sentiments. "Masculinity is in part defined by our attraction to the feminine. If your preference is to be a man-pleaser then you're not expressing any kind of masculinity that's worth celebrating."
What's interesting, I think, about this worldview is how much it has to do with tearing down the enemy, women, and zero to do with empowering men out of their emasculated ghetto. "There's no waxing poetic on the joys of fatherhood, the majesty of a properly groomed beard, or the exquisite joy of scratching your own balls; it's all just variations of "fuck dem bitches" and "amiright!?," agrees Cracked. "It's not an ideology, it's just them feeling bad about themselves and directing that hatred elsewhere ... which is exactly how a hate group works."
Fortunately, on the non-hate end of the distribution, you find penises. Which Owens may deem somewhat childish and primal to show off in public, but actually speak to a more primal, cultural myth among men: they define their manhood through their member. So putting it on display so overtly strikes me less as puerile and more of a grasping attempt to reclaim some of that feeling of manliness.
But most importantly, the clothes look cool as hell and perfect for when End Times arrive or the Apocalypse finally does hit the fan.
- Lesley Scott
The aggressively unstudied feel of this collection is very congruent with the vibe of the Apocalytical fashion tribe which has a chic cloud of effitalltohellalready Doomsday & End Times that seems to follow them everywhere. For more of my posts and podcasts about the Apocalytical tribe, CLICK HERE. To learn more about each of fashion's four mega-tribes that I track, START HERE.