TREND: Shape Shifter

In my fashion school critiques, there is one group of students that always gets picked on. They are repeatedly told to be innovative, but warned that their designs still can’t be commercially successful. They are told to pay greater attention to cut and fit, but admonished for creating silhouettes that are outlandish. They are the bold and the brave; they are the menswear designers, and I wish them the best of luck.

The menswear market rewards creativity, but only in subtle touches. This is partly because it is difficult for guys to pull off an interesting look that maintains a masculine quality. But this Cornell art professor pulls it off. He does so by keeping things simple in an all-black palette but adding interest in his silhouette.

The shape looks like a classic postman uniform: slight A-line wool coat, pants cut baggy at the knee, sturdy boots, and the slung messenger bag. It is really the cut of these G-Star jeans that makes this look unique, with that loose knee and slim calf. But unique doesn’t mean girly or fussy. This guy is burly and Scottish for God’s sake! So no Thom Browne crop-pants, Italian-guy capris, or circus slacks necessary to play this game. Just cut a simple shape, stick to it, and stand out.

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