• Melissa Imari Alvarez

Hallelujah, It's Reigning Men!

There's just something undeniably attractive about a well-dressed man, so much so that I daresay it's even more attractive than a chiseled physique (some exceptions apply). I've always been fascinated by menswear. It expands so much broader than suits and ties, and the "recently" coined idea of metro-sexuality isn't actually anything new. Men have been just as obsessed, if not more so, with their looks as women forever. LACMA's exhibit, Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015, showcases this through the evolution of menswear and how costuming of days past has influenced the styles of today. Broken up into several rooms, the fashions are not in chronological order, much to my OCD heart's dismay but displayed thematically (successfully, I must admit). However, I did enjoy seeing modern outfits side-by-side to their historical counterparts. Here are a few of my favorite looks...

Vivienne Westwood Spring/Summer 1991 menswear ensemble (far left) influenced by 18th century macaroni attire.

In her "Cut and Slash" collection (also her first men's collection), Vivienne Westwood drew from the silhouette and pastel colors of the 18th century macaroni but replaced the intricate embroideries with printed floral. Honestly, I mostly loved this look because I imagined Hamilton's Daveed Diggs (Lafayette & Thomas Jefferson) wearing it. I am the worst.

Harley Davidson Sporting Goods Company, Letterman Jacket, 1955

This Harley Davidson letterman jacket takes lead in an ensemble that became the quintessential jock look in the 1950s (one of my favorite periods for fashion). I was especially excited to learn that the letterman practice started at Harvard University back in 1865. Having recently visited the campus for the first time, I have this weird sense of pride for it as my self-proclaimed "spirit school". I think Elle Woods would approve.

Kansai Yamamoto, Overcoat and Trousers, 1980

How could I not be drawn to this crimson perfection? Kansai Yamamoto is known for blending traditional Japanese art with Western fashion, this wool suit taking from samurai surcoats and European duffle coats. I feel like I could see this in a Quentin Tarantino movie. Or that he should make a movie centered around this outfit.

Tom Ford Tuxedo Ensemble. Spring/Summer 2014.

This was definitely my favorite look in the entire exhibit. I know, I know...a suit and tie ensemble is such a cop out, but it's not just a suit and tie. First, it's Tom Ford and I am a sucker for his work. He just epitomizes modern day menswear in my mind and I would probably love a potato sack if he slapped his label on it. Go ahead and judge me, I don't care. Second, this tuxedo ensemble has got such a clean silhouette and crisp lines. Third, that damask dinner jacket is to die for, especially paired with the printed pumps. I really just love it all.

Interested in seeing these looks, and many others, at the Reigning Men exhibit? Find more info below:

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015 Where- LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art), 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA When: April 10- August 21, 2016. Closed Wednesdays.

Cost: Specially Ticketed Exhibitions + General Admission, $25. Includes admission to Robert Mapplethorpe exhibit.

More Info: http://www.lacma.org/ReigningMen

#Fashion #Menswear #LACMA #Museum #Exhibit #VivienneWestwood #TomFord

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