Today’s New York Times contains an disappointing article about the current widespread use of skulls in fashion. Although the paper is right to note the trend, one Izzy touched upon a while back, it fails to give any recent history of the death’s head as decoration, including its use on Nazi S.S. uniforms or its place in the iconography of heavy metal, something the British shoemaker Jeffery West tries to market. The article claims that the skull has largely lost its edge as a symbol, but Izzy thinks its connotations depend upon the sex of the wearer. It’s one thing for a woman to borrow style cues from pirates or Hell’s Angels; she is clearly playing dress-up. But when a man does the same, he is liable to come across as threatening or uncivil, far from a good thing in Izzy’s estimation. As for me, I’ll stick with more traditional cufflinks from Alfred Dunhill.)
Izzy was blissfully unaware of the trend of men wearing pantyhose, until a reader sent him this article:
The trend for straight men to invade female fashion territory is seemingly unstoppable. Even before manscara and guyliner there were man bras, or manzieres. Now there are umpteen websites for male nylons. One, e-MANcipate!, describes itself as “a project to accelerate the acceptance of male pantyhose as a regular clothing item” with tips on how to deal with snagging (a dab of clear nail varnish, I find, fellas, and do watch those shoe buckles).
Surely you don’t need Izzy to tell you that “mantyhose,” even with a special “male comfort panel,” is stretching things too far. They only time a gentleman should ever be caught with hose on is when he has pulled a pair over his head to rob a grocery store for diapers.
In honor of the belated release of Guns N’ Roses’ latest album, it’s worth remembering why no one regretted Axl Rose’s disappearance from the collective consciousness. Most men, even the most aesthetically clueless, know that the world does not want to see a vast swath of denuded pinkness. And is it Izzy’s imagination or is that cross trying to get as far as it can from Axl’s chest?
Rubén Albarrán, lead singer of the popular Mexican rock band Café Tacuba, nearly always wears a white fedora/mask to feign anonymity, perhaps even that of a luchadore. (This is even more obvious when he wears his bizarre coxcomb cap.) But Izzy can’t help but thinking of Dumb Donald, the lunkheaded character from the TV show Fat Albert who literally pulled he wool over his eyes in his permanent pink stocking hat.
A little while back, the folks at Kempt analyzed the ultra-preppy style of Southampton, New York. No doubt schooled at a radical madras-a, these men are in effect saying, “I’m so rich I can buy a hideous jacket I wear once a year as a joke.” But even worse is the implied incivility: by wearing such obnoxious jackets, paired with clashing bow ties no less, the men are showing little concern for the eyeballs of anyone else.
In case you’re the kind of professor or grad student who likes to wear socks with sandals, Alexander McQueen has just the pair of “dress” shoes for you. Just hope it doesn’t rain.
Andre Leon Talley, the eccentric editor-at-large (no pun intended) of Vogue, arrived at a fashion show wearing an alligator (?) coat that looks suspiciously, and embarrassingly, familiar. Izzy never forgets a hide.