Historically when it came to menswear, changes came at a slow rate — the change from flat-front to pleated pants took nearly a decade. But in the past few seasons, menswear collections have started to evolve at a much faster speed, with men’s sensuality coming more into focus.
That was one of the main topics of conversation during the spring 2023 season. Gen Z’s liberation movement through genderless street-style looks — a sea of fun cropped tops and transparencies — and some very influential red carpet moments from stars such as Timothée Chalamet and Lil Nas X, have definitely permeated the fashion subconscious — and it was about time.
Thom Browne has been playing with genderless fashion for a few years now. When Oscar Isaac showed up at some red carpets this year wearing Thom Browne’s skirt suits no one blinked an eye. But his spring 2023 collection was truly revolutionary under menswear standards. “The collection Thom Browne showed on Sunday night was one of the most thought-provoking of the week, with the designer feeling freer, and wilder, than ever before,” wrote WWD’s Samantha Conti in her fashion review.
The collection featured an interesting contrast between his traditional suiting options, briefcases and top coats all covered in his trademark springtime tweed, with ultra-low-rise pants, cropped tops and visible jock straps, resulting in a provocative, modern, new silhouette that had everyone buzzing after the show.
“I thought, why not? The quality and the play and proportion was a lot of fun, and I wanted to push it. I think it’s time for people to start pushing it a little further again. Even with the fabrics and the tailoring, the guys looked really masculine. I think it’s important that we all recognize the world we live in, and how much more evolved everybody is — in certain ways,” Browne said.
Another brand that played with proportions to allow for a provocative and genderless message was the young and influential brand EgonLab. Leather ultra-short shorts paired with oversize blazers, sheer ensembles and a few shirtless looks added a youthful perspective to the trend.
“I feel increasingly free, so I want to explore more and more. The image of Courrèges has always been a bit stiff, said designer Nicolas Di Felice. His designs featuring cutouts in the chest area and T-shirts that twisted sensuously around the body were clear examples of that exploration. And when adding accessories, including mother-of-pearl jewelry and Neoprene thigh-high boots, the result was sexy and cool.
A barely there cropped tank top opening look at Rick Owens, open weave sweaters at Louis Vuitton, mesh cropped shirts at Celine and sheer detailing at John Elliott, Dior Homme and Louis Gabriel Nouchi — to name a few — were leading elements of this ongoing conversation that resulted in one of the most provocative trends of the season.