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How red carpet glamour and 1970s influences heralded an expressive menswear renaissance

Models on catwalk wearing skirt suit sets, one in grey and another in black
Thom Browne/Daniel w. Fletcher
Nov 05, 2022 By WGSN Insider
Updates from WGSN

WGSN explores the red carpet looks and celebrity influences that are trickling down into the broader menswear landscape.

“There are two major elements at play here,” Noah Zagor, Senior Menswear Editor at WGSN, tells The Globe and Mail. “One deals with men’s attitudes towards clothing post-pandemic, while the other is about a broader push to redefine masculinity.”

Red carpet glamour

Coming out of the pandemic, consumers are eager to dress up again, including men who have been missing the opportunity to wear directional fashion and explore self-expression. When businesses reopened and events resumed, these men jumped at the chance to wear their loudest pieces. This manifested on the red carpet, which signals not only a return to public events, but also a celebration of life magnified in a way only these grandiose events can do.

The pandemic also brought themes of self-exploration and wellness to the fore. Men are responding by embracing a wider spectrum of masculinity and looking to express themselves more honestly. This combination of an openness to new expressions of masculinity with a desire to dress more boldly and in a celebratory way has resulted in some of the most non-conventional red carpet dressing. 

Two models wearing skirt suits
Terry Singh

Celebrity influence

Some celebrities are presenting a wider definition of masculinity. They enjoy fashion and self-expression, and aren’t afraid to challenge outdated gender norms. Harry Styles is reviving a type of rock 'n' roll sexiness last expressed by the likes of Mick Jagger and David Bowie in the 70s, these icons of male sexiness wore clothing and acted in ways many men considered effeminate – yet in some ways, they were the most macho men of their day.

The same can be said about the glam metal bands of the 1980s, with their neon pink spandex, big teased hair and make-up. You might argue that men who aren’t afraid to embrace their feminine sides are the epitome of daring manliness. 

Models wearing sheer tops, one in pink and the other in black
Act N°1/Annakiki

The menswear renaissance

The 1970s and its almost sleazy version of sexiness is a big influence now. We’re seeing unbuttoned silk shirts, tight flared pants and a lot more skin – both on the catwalks and on the streets. For the younger crowd there’s also the influence of the metaverse and digital culture, which embrace architectural styles and bold colours that pop on-screen and in real life.

WGSN subscribers can check out more fashion need-to-know from our reports focusing on the Paris, London, Milan and New York S/S 23 Fashion Weeks.

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