At New York Fashion Week, which wrapped up Sept. 15, the style statement for spring was decidedly on the softer side, with dreamy ocean-blue...
At New York Fashion Week, which wrapped up Sept. 15, the style statement for spring was decidedly on the softer side, with dreamy ocean-blue eyes and luxurious, fluffy locks the color of butter.
The catch? That look is meant for guys.
At the John Varvatos menswear show, he sent out models with slight builds, boyish faces and mop-top hair that tumbled into loose ringlets.
But will boyish — or make that girlish — looks become the next hot thing?
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Young and androgynous
Varvatos’ models were mostly in their early 20s, and one was 18, he said.
“He’s going for the young Brad Pitt look,” said Daniel Fass from Greenwich, Conn., observing a model on the catwalk with a fuzzy chin and sunglasses.
Varvatos has in fact dressed Pitt, in addition to many other Hollywood notables, such as Ashton Kutcher, Tom Cruise and Orlando Bloom. And the boyish look has been a hit overseas.
“It’s just so European. Especially in Milan, the designers love doing that,” says Leon Hall, trend director for Fashion Center Dallas and a television fashion critic. “They either do big hunky, humpy hot guys who you’d sleep with, or they do these wistful, languid androgynous men like Oscar Wilde’s cousin.”
Hall added: “Strangely enough, the American man just ain’t built that way. The real customer lies somewhere smack dab right down the middle.”
A few of the models, in tapered black suits, recalled Mick Jagger, circa 1960s. That was perhaps no accident.
“When we were designing the collection, there were some images that came to mind that were inspiring us,” Varvatos says. “We did have a picture of a very young Mick Jagger on the wall of our design studio, when his hair was a little wavy. There was something much softer, youthful and at the same time still masculine enough. And there was an edge to him.”
Make that a reed-thin edge.
Apropos of skinny, Varvatos showed cigarette-slim pants that were short enough to clear the ankle.
“It’s a slimmer pant, but not tight,” Varvatos said backstage after the show. “For the show, we made them shorter. It’s a styling thing.”
Varvatos also put a spin on basics, by showing hand-finished denim, T-shirts that were treated to create a distressed fabric, and his signature prints inspired by rock ‘n’ roll motifs. “I was trying to get guys away from just wearing a T-shirt and jeans,” Varvatos says.
Josephine Ingoglia, a makeup artist who styled the models, says they weren’t heavily made up, with just a bit of concealer and powder.
“They are naturally attractive,” Ingoglia added. “They’re just casual guys who were just born gorgeous.”
Still, the men were nearly as wispy as the sliver-thin female models used throughout Fashion Week.
“It wasn’t like we were looking for small guys,” says Varvatos, who estimated that the models were between 6 feet and 6 feet 2 inches tall.” “And I’m guessing some of those kids weigh 145 to 165 pounds.”
Is a small build destined to grow into big news?
Hall, the fashion critic, is not putting his bets on that.
“As a gay man, I know what would be more attractive not only to me but to women,” he says. “They look like they need to have a few burgers.”