Monday, 18 June 2018

msgm spring 2019 menswear review and why i'm bored of streetwear fashion

MSGM plays it safe again with streetwear, sneakers and skater looks.

What should have been the death knell for ugly trainers came earlier this week. The release of Margiela’s “Fusion sneakers” garnered mixed reactions. Most questioned why anyone would want to spend a fortune on trainers that look like they have been rolled around in dirt, paint, and glue. MSGM’s Spring 2019 menswear collection featured chunky trainers in every look. Whilst they were at least clean, they scored no points for originality. Ugly footwear has spent months stomping down both male and female catwalks already. 

An enormous number of recent collections have been influenced by streetwear: an overused term for the influx of athleisurewear produced by hype brands. MSGM’s recent collection is streetwear as a narrow definition for athletic jackets, tracksuits, and oversized jumpers.

The problem with streetwear in fashion at the moment is not just its overuse. It relies on brands that live off hype alone. Perhaps I am hungover from the recent McQueen documentary, but I want high fashion to be more theatrical. All streetwear does on the runway is appropriate and homogenise, like mainstream fashion’s adoption of punk did before. Margiela's trainers are a perfect example. Zoolander's 'Derelicte' collection was satire, but it is coming close to reality.

Opening with a two-tone denim jumpsuit, MSGM's collection became less daring as the show progressed. Yet there were highlights: denim utility toughens up the collection- though unfortunately only appears in two looks; fruit print shirts add a romantic touch; layering saves tank tops from being insufferable; summer holiday florals make for a ‘cool dad on holiday’ vibe. 

Massimo Giorgetti’s idiosyncratic use of bright colours brings playful hues of pink and yellow down the runway. A lemon print jacket is a more versatile statement item than some of the sportier pieces, and an orange and papaya print shirt evokes Call Me By Your Name-esque summers spent in southern Europe.

Bold prints and colours abound, straddling sportswear and beachwear with MSGM lettering and palm tree prints. It is a sellable, wearable collection first and foremost. Whether you love it or hate it- or are just bored of it- streetwear doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon. MSGM freshens it up at times but ultimately falls short. A handful of cool outfits don't make the collection memorable. To quote Giorgetti himself, it's time for "less street, more chic." 

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