Patrick Michael Hughes Senior Fashion Editor- Men's Fashion Writer
Millennial designers are looking at Gen-Z's strengthening identity for inspiration and it's influencing the market of fashion driven sports clothing. The sources of playful, empowered ownership is a fact on the streets in major fashion cities, such as New York. The look is sexy beyond the late summer heat. If one takes stock of time, it has been twenty- one years since Gen-X Hip Hop star Nelly informed fans 'its getting hot in here so take off all your clothes' as well as a 'sweet sixteen' years since 'forty something millennial' -Justin Timberlake declared he was bring 'Sexy Back... and to... get your sexy on'.
Men's fashion for the Spring 2023 has already had a competitive season of jock straps, American football pants, skin tight soccer jerseys and retro styles athletic shorts. The sports kit is redefining the fashion desire and sexual ownership with intention. The market cluster is part of the growing collective consciousness redefining masculinity, Queer identity, body positivity and inclusive abilities. The forthcoming men's fashion season seeks a consumer rethinking sportsman iconography with the edge of expanded pronoun identification. The freshness is, an in your face aware style. The current sense of Gen Z is throw-back pop- culture. The range is from the vintage nineteen-seventies Gay porn magazines to early two-thousands fashion moments such as 'sagging' the undergarment bearing peeve leading to Presidential comment during the first term of Barrack Obama. The style has been re-worked with swimwear or other sports gear.
Alled-Martinez a Barcelona-based brand is part of a wave of millennial designer labels influencing his generation's outlook on fashion. The label was founded by designer Archie Alled-Martinez and is at it's core a knitwear brand, whose "DNA has always been to take elements or references from the past and question how would that be nowadays." The designer's extensive, visually based research design approach led him to looking at the history of soccer and the player days of David Beckham, who was often described using the term du jour, 'metrosexual', a heterosexual male with liberal views and interest in fashion. Reclaiming this term as inclusive became an key component in the development of Spring/ Summer 2023.
The collection has not just taken the consumer back before pre-pandemic frolic or a Beckham bend, its more like Bruce LaBruce and Rick Castro’s 1996 film Hustler White, a black comedy that, despite its satirical and art house craft still manages to challenge culture's discussions around sexual attraction and working a rock hard mid-drift.
Spring 2023 was another sexy assembly for the brand full of luxury silk knits, low rise cargo-shorts, cropped jackets, attenuated denim, to handsomely full cut trousers with zipper details. Be assured this is designer price point clothing and it feels like it. The humor and play the label is known for was on display on printed-shirts. The Ford Motor Company logo became 'Faggot' and the Bic Pens logo became 'Dick' all graphics were with the brand's cheeky grin and test to see if you get it. The styling range and references were razor focused.
There were hints of the brand's love of the nineteen seventies in fitted green silk jersey recalling Brazil's #10 Pelé considered by many to be the greatest soccer player of all time. There was also an all white look featuring a retro band collar, racer, jacket and fitted white jeans. The styling brought to mind Peter Berlin a German American photographer, actor and Gay icon. Berlin was known for his spectacular narcissism and love of performative exhibitionist sex, long before the digital age. This collection is a bit of indulgence in sensual pleasures they are luxurious, youthful pieces infused with Queer heritage for the unapologetic and voyeuristic sportsman.
MARINE SERRE is a French designer and past winner of the LVMH Prize for Young Designers. Her Spring/ Summer 2023 collection was presented on a sports field with a track on the southern edge of Paris. 'State of Soul' as the brand explains is "After all of the anxiety, isolation and losses of the past years, as we continue to face challenges in the struggle to improve our world, it’s clear to us that our 'State of Soul' is definitely in need of the regenerative power that comes from joining together in joyful celebration."
The mini Olympic Games opening commenced with a flag ceremony with a 400 meter parade of "athletes and muses" the first look of the collection was a swimsuit made of recycled fibers followed by body suits and a singlets for all sizes and genders. The athletic punctuation in the men's clothing highlighted runners, bodybuilders, and boxers. This was far form a fully developed men's fashion collection. The inclusion of sport was a fraction of the frame but one which was concerned with the other fashion news form Paris of showing in out of the way site specific locations leading to an all night party.
Serre states "the show concentrates on our 'State of Soul' which is our own—slightly unconventional—translation of the French état d’esprit, and that helps explain the many unusual choices that we’ve made for the presentation of our latest collection."
LAZOSCHMIDL is a Stockholm and Frankfurt based conceptual and non-binary fashion brand founded by Josef Lazo and Andreas Schmidl. The Paris Spring Summer 2023 collection was a glamorization as they stated of "the high school thing and sports, which we didn't have". The brand's fantasy factor was not in short supply.
Clear connections to sports and the past were seen in the football style knee length trousers with lace crotches, a true youth team look. Biker shorts were strong in a mix of patterns mixed with solids. The fluid looks are sure to make many fashion connections. The design team is known for being intellectual and politically attuned and in many collections blend the disciplines of fashion design, literature, personal experiences and sex.
The Spring/Summer 2023 collection was exploration of youthful American jock. The results for this collection were good and had a glamour worthy of Paris. This season's pressed flower motif was a tribute to a lost loved one.