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Men's fashion week newcomers slay status quo

Adam Tschorn Los Angeles Times
GARETH PUGH: Razor-slashed patterns prep for combat. Jonas Gustavsson/ For the Times

GARETH PUGH: Razor-slashed patterns prep for combat. Jonas Gustavsson/ For the Times


Aggressively stark collections and high-theater shows by Rick Owens and Gareth Pugh take a sharp turn away from the 'comfort' coda.



The problem with menswear is that it moves at a glacial pace. The last time there was any significant change in the silhouette was when Hedi Slimane slimmed it all down at Dior Homme in the early aughts. Though Slimane is gone, the look still dominates among the fashionable set on the street, on the red carpet and on the concert stage -- where Mick Jagger and the Jonas Brothers share the same whittled-down wardrobe aesthetic.

So, again this season, it's probably no surprise that things didn't change much. In these uncertain times, the men's runways were dominated by safe choices. The suit was king (probably because if a man buys anything in the next year it'll be an outfit to wear to that job interview), and Raf Simons served up some of the best, impeccably tailored and razor-sharp, though the neoprene shrugs were a distraction.

Even Prada, who usually can be counted on for an offbeat vision, was solidly in the wearable camp. "It's a dangerous time," seemed to be the message. Trends showed a desire to insulate (Dolce & Gabbana's quilted tux), escape (Viktor & Rolf's surrealist romp) and comfort in cardigans and cable knits (nearly everyone).

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