The Awful Feeling Of Feeling Nothing

Hedi Slimane’s first men’s wear collection for Celine is in store. Who’s excited?

By Ray Zhang

I did not want to dismiss the hottest debut this year. Not just like that, not prematurely, not without first seeing the clothes, close-up. You may want to know I am not an Hedi Slimane fan ( I don’t think any of us in SOTD are), never have been. What I feel about his Celine for men is not going to be, for his die-hard followers, fair, but this was what I saw. It was not a cursory glance, but a close examination, as close as it gets.

While I had expected Mr Slimane’s aesthetic repetition, I came away certain again that he was telling me what I’ve seen before is what I shall and should see again. Newness is not new, as he communicates through familiar “Teddy” jackets. Don’t expect change. By now you should know he isn’t giving any. If you thought this was a reprise of his Saint Laurent, which then divided fashion opinion, you did not think wrongly or unreasonably. In the Hedi Slimane l’opera mode, one note is the best note.

Even the interior of the store is a throw-back to the years before his current tenure. Now, somehow the rigidity seemed intimidating. The stone walls, the harsh lighting; the minimal metal-frames-as-racks, suspended from the bare ceiling; the floating shelves, protruding from walls; the sterile glass cabinets; the industrial boast; the deliberate coldness that hits you like a slap—they stubbornly told me, to hell with my expecting things to be different.

In the end, it was the first Celine men’s collection that I have come to view. A Web browser might be useful in seeing the clothes as they were shown—in full swagger, but it is in a retail setting, where the clothes do not gain from the deceptive art of styling and the bodies that match those of Mr Slimane’s rock world, that I get to see the collection as individual pieces. Do they hold up individually? Lest I am mistaken, these are not badly made clothes; they just don’t fall into a category I can confidently say ‘designed’. Reprise, yes. So, as shirts go, as jeans go, as blazers go, they hold up to Uniqlo.

This, of course, risks being called comparing apples to pears. But what crossed my mind when I saw a viscose Western shirt in shadow check (that I later learn is part of a “classic shirt” range) with nothing a design lecturer might be able to point out to her students as creative, was “Gap”! After what Raf Simons did to the Western shirt at Calvin Klein, you’d think the bar for such a chemise (if there’s still demand for it) was raised. Mr Slimane obviously does not care about raised bars, which, to me, still suggests an indolence of approach, more so if you concur that there’s considerably more effort at Levi’s Made & Crafted.

Even the T-shirts, today an important entry-level category, can’t evoke a hint of admiration; their graphics made Off-White’s arrows look exceedingly artistic. The one with the oversized Celine logo, printed wholesale—it could have been Converse! Surprising were the shape of tees, which appeared to be for those who have spent considerable time in the gym and need tops that can allow the fabric’s tensile strength to be tested. The sleeves were so abbreviated, they seemed capped—the better to emphasise biceps! Sure, Mr Slimane most likely did not intend for them to be worn as a muscle tee, but they look decidedly from a time when clothes needed to give extreme musculature definition.

It is understandable that during the time he was at Saint Laurent, doing clothes that sat just above the humdrum, customers were into ‘looks’ rather than designs. As separates, those pieces were simple and easy to wear, evoking a rock-cool sensibility that is understandably appealing. But don’t people tire of what in Thailand is called same-same? There is, of course, nothing wrong with doing simple. The offerings of Lemaire, Jil Sander, and OAMC are oftentimes the antithesis of complex, but they don’t cross into the spirit-dampening space of nothingness. Pick anything in the Celine store, hold it up, and you are likely to return it to the rack than bring it to the fitting room.

But it was the fitting room that the sales staff was trying to persuade me to go to. When I stood before a plain white skinny shirt in an admittedly seductive cotton poplin, he asked me what my size was. When I took a tuxedo jacket in wool crepe to have a closer look and a surer touch, he pointed to the nearest mirror and told me I could slip it on. When I stroked a pair of dark denim jeans that looked totally linear from waist to hem, he said that “the store has only skinny”. Was that criticism of the old Ganryu jeans I was wearing? When I moved away from the clothes, he looked at me with what I thought were pupils of pity.

By then, I concluded that the sleek and stubbornly forbidding interior camouflaged the clothes’ total lack of warmth and allure. As quickly as I went in, I left. Not even a shirt cuff tugged at my interest. I didn’t feel a thing.

Photo: Galerie Gombak

Sassy At Celine

Celine W AW 2019 P1

You know what is going to be big come July (or whichever month the autumn/winter 2019 collections will drop)? Culottes. Seriously, culottes. Hedi Slimane has revived for Celine a garment that has for decades laid low, cery low. This is not to be confused with skorts. Mr Slimane’s are clearly “split skirts”—bifurcated, if you must get technical, or trousers cut to resemble a skirt, something that would remind those old enough the original Charlie’s Angels. Or, in our mind—imagination, really, Miuccia Bianchi Prada going to a political science class at the University of Milan.

For his second Celine women’s collection, Mr Slimane seems determined to prove to his detractors that he can do more than skinny or body-hugging. As reported in the media, Mr Slimane took a peek into the Celine archive. And this was the output—not a re-imagination, not a re-construct, but a facsimile, as the clothes appear to us. Mr Slimane has never had any use for irony or twist; he won’t either now. This could have leapt out of the pages of How to Dress like a Frenchwoman, if it was published in 1975.

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To be honest, we don’t know what Celine really looked like in the ’70s (except for some old ads we found online), when it rose in popularity. Founded in 1945 by Céline Vipiana as a made-to-measure children’s shoe store, it became, by the ’60s, a sort of Biba of the time, but more atas. The brand slowly projected the cool it was known for in the mid-’70s. Then, Ms Vipiana was still designing the line and she continued to do so until her death in 1997, aged 84. When LVMH took Céline into its fold and Michael Kors became the first designer to revive the brand, Céline was destined to be Celine, a hugely global French brand towards 2020… and much talked about, but not because of its content. Phoebe Philo was a minor extended distraction. Ironically, Mr Slimane’s approach seems to go back full circle, to where Mr Kors started.

How Mr Slimane changed the direction of the brand when he came on board and how he disappointed many is, until today, still discussed. The aesthetical shift now, we sense, is less about reacting to criticism than to once again reach back, a habit that had affected every fashion house that Mr Slimane steered. It appears to us that when he looked at the old output of Céline, thought to be those of the mid-’70s, he was really casting his mind to the past—as he did at Saint Laurent—to rehash. How else does one explain the obsession with pussy bows?

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Celine W AW 2019 G3

Mr Slimane’s Celine, therefore, seems to be joining the dots to reveal to us a picture that explicitly say FLASHBACK. Again, we can’t be sure this is close to Celine of yore (was Ms Vipiana mad about culottes?), but it does reflect an era. Some dresses looked like what Karl Lagerfeld did for Chloe in the ’70s. Or, perhaps what Alessandro Michele has been doing for Gucci, only Mr Slimane’s are better fitted. Some blouses looked like his take of what YSL muse Loulou de la Falaise might have worn back in the day, and already seen in Saint Laurent, circa 2013. And those below-the-knee schoolteacher skirts—your grandmother would know. Or, Diane Von Furstenburg. Hedi Slimane would be a worthy contestant against Marc Jacobs for the Look Back King of the Year.

Or course, Mr Slimane could not totally abandon skinny—he built a career on them pencil silhouettes. So, some pants are still reed-thin, the denim jeans too. But he did abandon baring skin. This is modest dressing! More? If you look closely, how many silhouettes are there? Three, maybe? Will this be the new merchandising norm? We had to again remind ourselves that Mr Slimane is not a designer like John Galliano, nor Demna Gvasalia, nor JW Anderson. Karl Lagerfeld, maybe. Frankly, we thought the Celine autumn/winter 2019 show was Butterick come alive.

Photos: (top) Celine/(runway) indigital.tv

Oh, Hedi!

What’s your point?

Celine M AW 2019.jpg

Is Celine Men designed for Hedi Slimane himself? If so, that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Our comments here then risk being redundant, but bear with us.

Recently, we looked, again, at Hedi Slimane’s last show for Yves Saint Laurent Homme (titled Black Tie), his first and last show at Dior Homme, and his first and last show at Saint Laurent and we came to the conclusion that having reshaped the silhouette of men’s wear as early as 2000 (that Black Tie collection at YSL was prelude to everything he did at Dior Homme later and further down the road), Mr Slimane probably has no desire to change what he was responsible for: that certain leanness and rock ‘n’ roll edge. That skinny jeans (even skinny track pants!!!) still dominate the male wardrobe is testament to his aesthetical influence.

Unsurprisingly, his first stand-alone Celine presentation for men could have been a Dior Homme show or Saint Laurent. The models walk similarly, if not look similar. The Celine collection is, we were told, called “Polaroids of British Youths”, but, to us, it really is Pete Doherty all over again. Or, even Liam Gallagher (sorry, chap!). Mr Slimane’s brand of indie-rock cool has always veered towards England, never mind if he himself lives in Los Angeles, and is known to be into the music scene there. The English just does it better.

Celine M AW 2019 G1.jpg

Hedi Slimane is not Hedi Slimane if he does not do slim—boyish to boot. To be fair, for Celine Men, the skinniness is not so extreme. The boys are still lean, maybe not quite skin-and-bones as before, but they are primarily boys, unlike the models at Junya Watnabe, who cast grown men, middle-aged and above, for his Silver Swagger collection. Mr Slimane has his signature down pat: the silhouette is compact (nothing oversized) and the line straight. As with his women’s wear, he is not partial to ample space between body and cloth.

On a whole, the clothes look rather basic despite their rock musician posturing. One duffel coat is so unspectacular that you are sure that if you wish to ape the look, a very similar version available at Uniqlo can be had for a song, pun intended. You sense, too, that you may have seen some of the items elsewhere. A couple of the leather jackets look like they have appeared at Saint Laurent during Mr Slimane’s tenure there, while others such as the trim blazers with narrow lapels, now already commonplace in TopMan.

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An unapologetic designer, Mr Slimane is not about to explain why he took the path he has with Celine Men. He dishes it, and fans will lap them all up. Some members of the media say he is firmly helping men to return to an elegant way of dressing; they point to the collection’s missing sneakers. We’re not sure that many guys will abandon their T-shirts and their joggers at Mr Slimane’s catwalk command. This does not sing of his Dior Homme moment. Additionally, other brands, too, are signalling the shift away from streetwear. What then will be his Celine’s allure?

It is hard to say. These days, fashion also includes the power of social media not just the dictates of the runway. Or, one trending shirt (yes, Jeff Goldblum’s!) We can’t be certain that those who educate themselves about fashion via the Net won’t say this is an uninspired variation of a theme. It’s been seen and if we didn’t do them then, we’re not going to do them now. Or next fall.

Photos: (top) Youtube/(runway) indigital.tv

Out With The Old, In With The Old

Relieving Celine of its accent above the ‘e’ is minor change compared to dropping Yves from Yves Saint Laurent, and that perhaps was the point: Hedi Slimane was not planning to reinvent the sewing needle at Celine. Instead, he brought unfinished business at YSL along

 

Celine SS2019 P1

We guessed it, and yet we were still bothered, perplexed, annoyed. It’s like the end of a romance. You know it’ll soon be over and yet when he/she is gone, you feel the pain, or anger. Hedi Slimane was not expected to expand the look Phoebe Philo left at Céline (as spelled when she was there) the way his successor at Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello, continued Mr Slimane’s rock-chick-waif-groupie look. Yet, we were still dismayed. Perhaps it was the late hour of the live stream (2.45 am!), but mostly it was the annoyance of having to view his last, by-then-repetitive Saint Laurent collection all over again.

We weren’t sure but was the collection about a true singular vision? Mr Slimane is no visionary and his Celine is regrettably short-sighted. Or, was he pleasing an already sizeable fan base of an increasingly commercial rather than innovative fashion business climate? Surely there are those who have remained with Saint Laurent and those who have moved on. Or is this output of a designer that hitherto is, for the most part, one-note? This seemed like indolence at design level: he could have simply bring along the paper patterns from his previous tenure. He was at Saint Laurent for a mere four years (2012 to 2016). Sure, he not only made a huge impact to the fortunes of the house, but also promulgated the idea that luxury fashion can look like fast fashion, which may mean he did not have enough time to really conquer and rule, although divide he arguably did.

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Celine SS 2019 G2

The skinny jeans and pants that he popularised at Dior Homme still bolstering ascendancy over other silhouettes in both women’s and men’s wear (even their office clothes!) today is probably not enough. If he wants to leave a lasting legacy, there has to be a persistent aesthetic singularity to better overrun an over-shared world. When Mr Slimane took over Dior Homme in 2000, fashion editors spoke of how he “idolised” teen-ish, waifish rock musicians or such a look. Eighteen years later, at 50, his kind of idolisation could be construed as bordering on the paedophilic, yet it did not bother Mr Slimane or his supporters, including one Karl Lagerfeld, because fashion is, since the advent of pret-a-porter, about youth. He continued with Celine’s debut men’s wear the skinniness and gangliness that he first mooted 18 years ago, as if times have not changed, as if men’s taste have not altered. He even told the media that Celine men’s clothes are unisex, and women are free to buy, which harks back to the female interest in his Dior Homme. Interestingly, he didn’t say that the women’s clothes are unisex and available to men. Remember Phoebe Philo’s Celine appealed to guys, with Pharrell Williams her number one fan?

With a casting that would have the black community cry out tokenism, Mr Slimane again made sure that not only was the Caucasian face his ideal beauty, body diversity was not part of his universe. In fact, these clothes—their smallness, slimness, and shortness—were really for adolescent boys and girls: the boyishness and girlishness augmented by the skinny ties that men past a certain station in life stay clear of and the little dresses with a very fixed waist that women of a certain age normally avoid. Is Mr Slimane’s Celine the new Gap for the children of the wealthy whose numbers are rising all over the world—for certain in Asia? Or is this fashion’s own Peter Pan syndrome?

Celine SS 2019 G4

Some members of the press have taken to justifying Mr Slimane’s design direction than saying that it is lacking in, say, newness (a bad word in fashion these days), among other things. He has proven himself to be a commercially successful designer, they reasoned. Celine, as most people know, is part of LVMH, one of the most powerful luxury conglomerates in the world, if not the most powerful. So there is fear of commercial reprisal. Or, the denial of invitation to future shows. God forbid that a fashion editor should watch live streams like the rest of us! Mr Slimane was known to take umbrage at members of the media who did not share his view or who were not keen in what he did. The relationship between the press and luxury brands has always been a complicated one, and the love-hate relationship, for a lack of better description, is mostly concealed by love, no matter how dismal or disappointing the output of the brands. Love lost, as some journalists—including prominent ones—have learnt, is not nearly recoverable.

At the end of the Celine Hedi Slimane show, there were audible screams of approval. These can’t be construed as anything but love, which means we shall see more of what may be teetering close to ennui: little dresses—black aplenty—and those, equally compact versions, with flourishes such as flounces; boyfriend jackets that, when worn over said dresses, made the latter look even shorter; biker jackets for serious rock cred; and skinny suits that, any skinnier, would be compression wear. Mr Slimane is not the least vague about where he intends to take Celine under his charge. Just because you were given a name at birth and trained to be a lady does not mean that someone, further down the road, can’t lead you astray, and make you a tramp.

Photos: (top) screen shot/Celine live stream, (catwalk) indigital.tv

Another Elegant Bag To Add To All Those Elegant Bags

Lady Gaga bagged a Céline to help Hedi Slimane hint at what he’ll be doing for the house Phoebe Philo departed from. But, does it really say much?

 

The thing that struck us first was the quick show of gratitude. It was reported that Lady Gaga was “gifted” a new Céline bag, and it wasn’t enough that she flaunted it across Paris in the welcome presence of the paparazzi, she wasted no time in posting the said bag on her IG page with the social media savvy of a KOL, product in full-frontal glory. These days, of course, there’s a name for all this: influencer marketing.

Effective splashiness aside, we have no idea what that kumquat-coloured extra-long and form-fitting singlet has got to do with that ebony handbag (very Halloween colour combo, we’d say), but it is possible that Lady Gaga was trying a chromatic counterpoint to what appeared to be a very black, very dull, very easy-to-ignore bag. Three months down the road, you’ll not remember it existed, except perhaps that Lady Gaga was the first to carry Hedi Slimane’s debut Céline bag.

No name as yet was ascribed to the structured bag. If we weren’t told this was a Céline, we would have thought that this was something from the Belgian bag maker Delvaux or Valextra, the FJB-distributed Italian brand that was doomed to close here. Lady Gaga’s arm candy of a bag looked a tad too conservative for a songstress who dares to challenge the conventional wisdom of what can be worn on the body. If Margaret Thatcher were still alive, she’d probably be very delighted to carry it to 10 Downing Street.

Hedi Slimane’s Céline bag, as Netizens have pointed out, walks the path paved by the Hermès Kelly. Trapezoid in shape and with a flap cover secured by a gold latch-and-lock, it is far more traditional and conservative than anything Mr Slimane’s predecessor introduced for the house. In fact, Mr Slimane is not known for his bag designs even when he chose to adopt Phoebe Philo’s bags-first strategy (which Saint Laurent bag do you remember now?). This isn’t the Trapeze; this isn’t the Luggage Tote, and this is definitely not the Puzzle, so successfully designed by Jonathan Anderson for Loewe. Another bag to have forever? Fashion deserves better.

UPDATE: It’s been reported after our post that Hedi Slimane has redesigned—unsurprisingly—the Céline logo and the name is now spelled without the acute accent on the second ‘e’, as in Celine.

Photos: Lady Gaga/Instagram

Midnight Cowboys

Saint Laurent’s men’s wear under Anthony Vaccarello was presented in New York. Is this another of the brand’s attempt at Americanisation?

 

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When bands in the European continent want to make it big, they record or launch albums in the good ’ol US of A. The Brits, in particular, consider North America the platform for global domination. From the Beatles to Depeche Mode to One Direction, bands see Uncle Sam as the father of immense riches or the repository of accessible pop. In the Trumpian world, could this be America, “the piggy bank that everybody is robbing”?

Fashion designers, like band members, see the allure of the United States too. Anthony Vaccarello is one of them. His spring/summer 2019 men’s wear collection for the house was shown, not in Paris but in the Big Apple, a city that provided, as he told the media, “the idea of New York, the idea of the icons of New York in the ’70s”. If that immediately sounds like a cliché, it is. The Americans have been robbing the accesses of the disco era for a very long time, so much so that many of them can’t forgo the lurid glam headquartered in the nightclub Studio 54. But the French, such as Yves Saint Laurent himself, want to show the Americans how to do it better. Hedi Slimane, Mr Vaccarello’s predecessor, was also seduced by the US. He even showed in—of all places—LA! Even in the West Coast, you can’t say “icons of New York in the ’70s” wasn’t on his mind.

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Since Mr Slimane’s remake of Saint Laurent for men, the clothes have been part lost hippy, part rock star, part flashy pimp. Mr Vaccarello has not dramatically change the aesthetic, but has added to the equation part urban cowboy. At the New York show, he styled a sort of downtown dandy, a nocturnal peacock (in a beaded paisley blazer!) that occupies his time mostly hanging out with band mates (still the Pete Doherty vibe?), in the most underground of clubs, under the cover of darkness or the hypnosis of the strobe. It was not easy to see how the clothes would fit any activity of daylight hours, unless your line of work involves, say, entertainment. The outfits were mostly dark in shade, glittery in effects, and slim in silhouette.

In fact, the silhouette has not changed much. Since Mr Slimane exported hipster lean to Saint Laurent from Dior Homme, his successor has not deviated from the look. In fact, skinniness has remained central—a skinniness that has, by now, made oversized and baggy positively more interesting. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with slim-fit, but for those who have moved on to something less of a cling wrap, what Mr Vaccarello is proposing seems a little, well, narrow, or restrictive. The body of today deserves a variety of proportions.

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Within the overall slimness of the silhouette, he added Western touches that few men of horse and lasso would consider authentic. Then there were those unbuttoned-halfway shirts underneath leather jackets, punctuated by a neckerchief—throwback to the ’70s that appeared lame against the signature excesses at Gucci. In addition, those sheer sequinned shirts and sleeveless tops that would have more in common with men of a certain age unable to pull away from the past than the young living in the present. Noteworthy too were the surprisingly large number of jeans, more permutations than even Diesel would churn out per season. And what was the body glitter of the finale about? A nod to the month of Pride?

Look closely and the collection persuaded one to think that it is isn’t terribly inventive by design. Similar to Mr Slimane’s initially divisive approach, Mr Vaccarello had created looks using rather basic clothes in nightclub-worthy fabrics to effect his vision of what he thinks the Americans would like: styles of the ’70s, considered the breakout decade for American designers. The thing is, this may be the most exciting men’s wear season in a long while. Eyes and social media accounts will be trained on the debuts of Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones at Dior Homme, Hedi Slimane at Celine’s very first season for men, Jacquemus’s own, and Riccardo Tisci at Burberry. By the looks of it, Anthony Vaccarello probably did not aim to be the first among peers.

Photos: Saint Laurent

When Will The Pussy Bow Bow Out?

The Pussy Bow Stays

By Mao Shan Wang

Tell a straight man that you’ll be wearing a pussy bow top and see how delighted he would be. This was overheard in a lift a week ago:

Woman, who looked like Daria and sounded like Chen Liping: “I’m going to wear my pussy blouse (sic) for tomorrow’s dinner.”

Man, who looked like Ben Yeo and sounded like Chua Enlai: “Is that what they’re called these days. Dear, I’m cool if you don’t wear any.” A grin followed.

No, I didn’t laugh, but I was, admittedly, amused. Some words are indeed indispensable when the wrong idea is not desired or solicited. Never have I thought that a floppy bow—considered the epitome of femininity—can be the object of cheeky, masculine delight. Fashion nomenclature: an update is in order?

It is unfortunate that one of the most popular styles of recent times has to share a name with domestic cats and, goodness forbids, a woman’s you-know-what. I have been warned by more than one dictionary that “when referring to a woman, pussy is perceived as insulting”. It’s understandable why flowers such as Rose and Daisy and Violet are frequently picked as girl’s names, even Cherry Blossom, but never Pussy Willow.

I am not quite sure how the bow really got such a moniker even when people have tried convincing me that it is named after bows tied round the necks of cats. If so, why not kitty bow? I mean, no one calls a cat’s latrine pussy litter!

Okay, there will be no end to this. Personally, I prefer tie-neck, but that sounds like strangulation, or, seriously, erotic asphyxiation. So, for this article, and to be consistent with what everyone else calls it, I shall stick to pussy, er, pussy bow.

YSL thru the agesFrom left: Yves Saint Laurent’s pussy bow blouse from 1966, the pussy bow again in 1968, and Hedi Slimane’s take in 2013. Photos: Yves Saint Laurent and Saint Laurent Paris

When Hedi Slimane (re)introduced the pussy bow for his debut collection at Saint Laurent—spring/summer 2013, followed by others, I had thought that it would not be a long-lived trend. The said bow has appeared season after season since. After watching the live stream of Marc Jacobs’s autumn/winter 2016 show, I know I was very wrong about its brief cheery life. The pussy bow is becoming a style cliché faster than you can tie one.

How long does a trend last before it dims? I am not sure anyone really knows anymore. Trend forecasters typically say a year, but look at cut-off denim shorts or skinny jeans: they’re still around, aren’t they? Hasn’t it been 10 or more years since they appeared? Wasn’t Kate Moss a child when she wore and popularised them? Demand—also weather, some will say, in the case of those ubiquitous shorts—certainly keeps some trends screen-on always.

It is not surprising that Marc Jacobs would introduce the pussy bow post-Louis Vuitton. Mr Jacobs has always flirted with the ’70s and mined the era’s fashion staples as people would with gold, a habit as regular as it is unsurprising. Fashion’s unrelenting romance with retro or the ‘vintage-y’ helps keep the practice alive. Retailers are happy to play along because, as one buyer told me, it’s giving  those who did not have the opportunity to indulge in items such as the pussy bow blouse the first time round (since they were not born!) a chance. She didn’t say that it is also to give their business another stab at selling to the now-larger critical mass.

Gucci AW 2015Gucci’s Alessandro Michele showed pussy bows for men before women for autumn/winter 2015

The pussy bow really caught on because of Gucci. Alessandro Michele first hinted (not at all discreetly) at its resurgence when he showed them on men at his very first collection for the Italian house, presented in January last year, reportedly designed in less than a week. (His appointment was not officially announced until after that show).

I’m not sure if Gucci’s pussy bows help men cut a dashing figure, but on guys, they are nothing terribly new, given that its predecessor, the cravat, has been around since the 17th Century—its genesis can be traced to a military unit called Croats or Crabats that fought against the Ottoman Empire. There was even a style that went by the rather masculine name Steinkirk, worn deliberately messy, as if as a badge of undisputed machismo.

The Gucci shirts that Mr Michele showed were thought to be ‘blousy’. That, to me, is quite in keeping with the Gucci DNA. Since Tom Ford’s silk shirts of the mid-’90s, worn unbuttoned as if men have deep-set cleavage, Gucci has been making chemises that women have no qualms wearing too. Blousy is not a post-Noughties trend; it’s a renascent interest.

Gucci men's pussy bow shirtAn Instagram screen grab of Gucci’s autumn/winter 2015 campaign featuring a man’s pussy bow shirt

Gucci pussy bow blouse ss 2016Gucci’s spring/summer 2016 campaign with more pussy bow blouses posted on Instagram

Mr Michele’s follow-up women’s collection, too, featured pussy bows, and the clothes were so successful that CEO Marco Bizzarri told Business of Fashion that the line will not be marked down. Not on sale: now, that’s news! Gucci pussy bows were protected from ending up on indiscriminate necks.

Despite the pussy bow’s connection to an iron lady and its association with ’80s suit-wearing careerists, its appeal has not been jeopardised by its own old-fashion bearing. This is, in part, due to Gucci’s interpretation—mainly in diaphanous fabrics that do not appear to choke you up in a bunch of fabric, and, also owing to the continual love for all clothes ultra-feminine. There isn’t really a modern take on sartorial femininity, so we plunder our grandmother’s wardrobe.

Even without a sale at Gucci, the demand for pussy bows increased. The filter-down effect was accelerated into a gush. Just as I thought the ‘It’ blouse was not going to survive another season, Marc Jacobs sent more out so that the pussy bow won’t renounce its catwalk prominence. This craze has gone beyond reasonable optimism. When will it come to an end, like all good things do? Well that depends on you, doesn’t it?