As could be expected coming from a former child star, justin bieber clothing has had many a fashion transformation over the years. He’s done quiffed hair and a thick gold rapper’s chain. He’s posed looking buff in Calvin Klein pants. He’s experimented using a floppy fringe as well as a suit. But even though some of his attempts to toughen up happen to be met with derision, the most recent part in the Biebvolution is actually bang on the fashion money. There has been ripped jeans. There has been oversized hoodies, and oversized Nirvana T-shirts using the sleeves hacked off. Crucially, there has been lots of layering – and lots of raw edges.
Not everybody gets it (“Justin Bieber wears bizarre frayed denim top,” was the Mirror’s reaction to his Marques’Almeida moment in the Radio 1 Teen awards earlier this month) but the latest incarnation of Bieber ties in to a mood that is sweeping through menswear – and might be arriving within your wardrobe soon.
Simply speaking: scruffiness is hot. Glitzy has gone out. Deliberately undone and messy is. Think a Wolfgang Tillmans portrait meets 1990s grunge having a tracksuit top as well as a pierced ear thrown set for good measure. You might dub it a hot mess for males, but the thing you would never consider it is hipster – manicured beards must be ditched for haphazard facial hair immediately.
Undoubtedly, Marques’Almeida, the label justin bieber hoodie wore on the teen awards, has been integral for the boost in popularity of denim and of jeans which are hacked off and left raw. Basically, if it’s the sort of look which makes parents eyeroll and say: “You given money for that? Do want me to get proper hems on those?”, this has legs. Elsewhere on the catwalk, for his spring/summer 2016 menswear show, Raf Simons sent out herringbone trousers that was 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 happening; up close, the holes during these knits are layered spanning 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 – could there be in all the glossy style magazines, too, although glossy is definitely 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, one of the more in-demand photographers in vogue, these pictures have a typical masculine rawness. In the short video to accompany this shoot, you may also see acne on his forehead. Imagine. Meanwhile, Tillmans has shot typically lo-fi stories for the latest Arena Homme including one called How Fragile is it Man?, as 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 amount of facial hair.
Haute scruff had also been across just about the most talked-about moments in the spring/summer 2016 season: the Vetements show, which had been locked in a Chinese restaurant variously known as “tacky” (Dazed & Confused), “cheap and cheerful” (Vogue Runway) and “kitschy” (Business of Fashion) and featured clothes which were all deconstructed awkwardness and models who looked like they had just rolled out of bed. The majority of them weren’t actually models: Rubchinskiy appeared, wearing a DHL T-shirt (yes, like the parcel delivery service); even show stylist, Lotta Volkova, took a switch on the catwalk, closing proceedings in thigh-high boots plus a raw-edged denim miniskirt. The Vetements influence in fashion is only set to continue: after the show, one among Paris’s most historic fashion houses, Balenciaga, announced that its lead designer, Demna Gvasalia, would be to become its new creative director.
Rubchinskiy is an additional of the buzziest names in menswear; since 2012 his label has become backed by Comme des Garçons. His clothes feel as if a nerdy take on Soviet sportswear – think a shellsuit top or 1980s patterned jumper. Snazzy, but not.
In reality, if everything else fails, the important thing to this particular look is actually a vintage-style tracksuit top. Gosha or AMI (next season) for guys. Chloe (next season) or Bottega Veneta resort for women (see British Vogue’s December issue, where several tracktops are featured in the “new downtown silhouette”). Basically, it’s all a lttle bit Damon Albarn circa 1996. How come this humble zip-up summarize this new anti-luxury luxury? Firstly, mainly because it ticks the 1990s box – and also the dexqpkyy16 is starting to become the decade du jour. Secondly, it’s the contrary of the justin bieber t shirt that has been the headline news in menswear over the past few years. And finally, it’s very easy to chuck on, doesn’t look like you’ve made an effort but suggests that you know what’s going on. Which feels scruffy and modern indeed.
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