Shoulder On

Text by Luke Raymond

July might well be slightly early to start thinking about my A/W wardrobe but summer seems to have hit the skids so my mind is wandering to thoughts of coats rather than shorts. Strong, accentuated, eighties-style shoulders have infiltrated the womenswear catwalks, and so it’s not surprising that they’ve crept into menswear. At Ute Ploier’s boxing inspired A/W09 collection, the whole upper body was accentuated, perhaps to allude to the physical bulk of a boxer’s physique.

Raf Simons too, with his neoprene boleros, accentuated the upper body and particularly the shoulders and arms. On a side note I was recently dissuaded from buying a blue neoprene wetsuit jacket pretty similar to Raf’s creations and kick myself for it to this day. For the trend watchers out there, this focus upon the shoulders extended to catwalks of Graduate Fashion Week and the collections of Levi Palmer and Neil (not that one) Young and continued into Spring/Summer with Lanvin’s softer interpretation as sleeves were pushed up, creating almost leg-of-mutton-style voluminous shoulders and upper arms.

A departure from the waifish, gamine silhouettes propagated by Hedi Slimane and taken up by remainder of industry, I could try and analyse the many possible reasons for this about turn; a re-assertion of masculine might, a literal interpretation of a man with the weight of the world on his shoulders? But put simply, I just like the look of it and might well be purchasing a slightly too large coat to add some bulk to my meagre frame.

L-R: Ute Ploier, Uter Ploier, Raf Simons, Raf Simons, Neil Young, Levi Palmer.

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