Saturday, 1 May 2010

Singapore Fashion Week: Men in (Scruffy) Shorts

Someone once said that if you sit in a hotel lobby long enough, everyone you ever knew will pass by. I don't know about that but I do know that any hotel lobby will give you an instant snapshot of how fashion is actually worn by all the myriad shapes and sizes of men and women who are so far removed from the designer's idealised dreams – and that includes the swanky, expensive people too.

And it is quite a shock.

I thought about this sitting in the lobby of the St Regis in Singapore waiting for Roberto Cavalli, whose private jet had been delayed by bad weather. He and his show are the stars of this year's Singapore Audi Fashion Week at the grand final gala night on Sunday. It will be a high-glam occasion of course – how could it be anything else, featuring as it does Roberto's personal selection of great evening gowns from the past as well as his current collection?

What a contrast to what walked through the lobby in the short time I sat there.

Let me say immediately that, as you might expect, it is the men who are the most criminal offenders. We all accept that America did a lot to casualise men's dress and that it was something well overdue but sadly, the rest of the world – preeminently the Brits – have turned casual, non-status clothes into something so ugly that scruffy is not a strong enough word to describe it. Hideous shorts – and even more hideous legs – reinforce the old saying that men never dress to attract women but only to display a crude contempt and power to other men. The result is that they have all the glamour of a hyena.

The sad thing is that, instead of fighting this movement, designers have followed it. But although their versions are better cut than the cheap ones most men wear (which are probably made under appalling labour conditions), they still flatter perhaps one in thirty men under thirty and nobody older.

I had hoped for some visual respite in London this winter as it was very cold and all normal adults would have changed into trousers. But it didn't happen. Men of all ages continued to dress as if they were postmen and wear shorts even in the snow. I can't help hoping that the cold effects their sperm count so that this particular form of idiocy is eradicated by a process of natural selection.

1 comment:

  1. I've always considered Singapore the sort of place (despite the warm, humid climate it is aircon city) where men usually dress in an appropriately dignified (dare I say colonial) manner. Whereas, however chilly it may be, as soon as the sun comes out in London, a growing number of men can be seen sporting their curiously lily white legs on the high street. Aren't there rules for postmen though - I thought they were only allowed to wear shorts when it's officially summer?