The exhibition features 200 looks, celebrating a rich history of restraint and resplendence in menswear.
Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015, opened till August 21 at - LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art - is the exhibition that explores the history of men’s fashionable dress from the eighteenth century to the present and re-examines the all-too-frequent equation of “fashion” with “femininity.” Because the fashionable male may be making a comeback, but early fashion trends centered around what men-not women-were wearing.
Beginning with the 18th century, the male aristocrat wore a three-piece suit conspicuous in make and style, and equally as lavish as the opulent dress of his female counterpart. The 19th-century “dandy” made famous a more refined brand of expensive elegance which became the hallmark of Savile Row. The mid-twentieth-century “mod” relished in the colorful and modern styles of Carnaby Street, and the 21st century man—in an ultra-chic skinny suit by day and a flowered tuxedo by night—redefines today’s concept of masculinity.
Starting from the 18th century, when young Englishmen imitated foreign dress and manners as they toured the European continent, and they were called with the Italian term "macaroni”- the Italian pasta maccheroni - then referring to anything that was fashionable as "very macaroni”, Reigning Men makes illuminating connections between history and high fashion and traces cultural influences over the centuries, examines how elements of the uniform have profoundly shaped fashionable dress, and reveals how cinching and padding the body was, and is, not exclusive to women.
The rich catalogue of the exhibition - available on Amazon - is beautifully produced, lavishly illustrated, informative and eye-opening, and will certainly appeal to men and women alike.
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Photo Credits: LATF USA