My Yoko Ono Appreciation Life

I appreciate the hell out of Yoko Ono. If you disagree with me that Ms. Ono is awesome, go read this series about how fucking awesome she is and how a lot of the hate for her is rooted in racialized misogyny. She was one of the first women to be accepted in Gakushin University’s prestigious philosophy program. Also, she kicked John Lennon out of the house for cheating on her, even though all the other Beatle wives had just accepted infidelity, because fuck you, Yoko Ono demands respect, she doesn’t care if you are one of the greatest musical geniuses alive, you will treat her right or you’re out the door. I admire that.

Yoko’s new menswear collection is just as fucking fabulous as she is.

Okay, let’s ignore the bits where she’s clearly trolling. (Oh, Yoko, why are there hands groping all of these men’s crotches? What are you up to?) These menswear fashions are really fucking interesting.

For a long time, men’s fashion has basically had two models:

  • Suit
  • Jeans and T-shirt
Admittedly, a lot of fashion designers have done really incredible things with both the suit and the jeans-and-T-shirt model, and picking the proper suit is as important as picking the proper spouse. But where women have a dozen different designs of dress, playing around with lapel size is just not going to cut it, you know?

Yoko Ono played with exposed skin, with transparent fabrics, with baring shoulders and backs, with accentuating erogenous zones, with all the techniques fashion designers subtly (or not-so-subtly– Yoko, darling, honey, sweetheart, what is with those hands) use to play up female sexuality in a classy (or not-so-classy– Yoko, hands) way. They read as feminine, in a way, because transparent fabrics and exposed skin and erogenous zones read as female. But the designs are basic menswear at heart: suits, trousers, shirts. They just have sexuality played up the same way that women’s clothes always have their sexuality played up.

Of course, this is exactly what Ono wants. She says in an interview, “Men were always wanting us to look good and take off everything, and we were never able to enjoy men’s sexuality in that way.” Sexualize men’s clothes the same way that women’s clothes are sexualized, treat men’s bodies as art the same way that the female body (whether nude or clothed) has been treated as art for thousands of years. It’s really interesting work, I think.

High fashion clothes are rarely intended to be wearable by ordinary people. They’re art displayed on human bodies. Still, sometimes the ideas from high fashion filter down into the mainstream, and I’d be really happy if this one did. Why shouldn’t men get clothes as sexy, as seductive, as body-bearing, as women’s clothing? Why shouldn’t men have clothing that’s fun and flirty and a little bit risque? A suit that covers one’s entire body is fine– is wonderful, in fact, if that is something that makes the person wearing it feel powerful and comfortable and hot– but there should be more options than just a suit.

Also, dear God, the hands.

Photo credit– MindyTaylor/ Flickr. A line of suits.

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About ozyfrantz

Ozy Frantz is a student at a well-respected Hippie College in the United States. Zie bases most of zir life decisions on Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman, and identifies more closely with Pinkie Pie than is probably necessary. Ozy can be contacted at [email protected] or on Twitter as @ozyfrantz. Writing is presently Ozy's primary means of support, so to tip the blogger, click here.

Comments

  1. Yoko Ono is not the first men’s clothing designer to break the “suit or jeans and a shirt” model of men’s fashion. Not that you’re wrong that that remains the dominant model, but she is not single-handedly shattering it.

    Also, far from being intolerant of infidelity (which is apparently really awesome, now? OK) she basically set up his affair with May Pang during the “Lost Weekend”.

    • It depends on how you define “infidelity.” My definition of “cheating” includes “without your SO’s knowledge or consent.” If Yoko set up that particular dalliance, than that particular dalliance was not cheating. But if John was out having sex with someone else that Yoko didn’t know about, and she found out, that is cheating by most people’s definition.

    • Thank you. Ono did NOT kick Lennon out for infidelity – she kicked him out because he was fast on his wy to becoming an alcoholic. She actually suggested the relationship with May Pang.

      As well, you’re right about the fashion – there’s nothing here that Kansai Yamamoto wasn’t doing 40 years ago.

  2. The thing I wonder is whether anyone finds these clothes genuinely arousing. I’m not saying this in a “I’m so straight I think men are icky” way (I’ve been known to swoon at a man in a suit myself) – but just as a general question. These clothes are just so strange I can’t imagine any reaction other than thinking they’re weird. As much as I support the sexification of men’s fashion, I don’t think I would feel very sexy wearing them.

    • first photo: the male needs to be much broader in shoulder and chest to carry that exact style in cut and fabric, then it would look most handsome. for the model’s slim build, smaller cutouts at the shoulder would be needed(the shaped of the cut would need experimenting with)

      2nd photo: is good, the torso piece works
      3rd photo: agrees with my idea to use a different fabric for jacket sleeves

      • 2nd photo: also only works on men chests that project further than the belly, or have chests and stomachs that are equally flat (like the model).

        photo1 has greatest potential to be ‘sexy’, photo2 with a bit reworking could be too

  3. “Men were always wanting us to look good and take off everything, and we were never able to enjoy men’s sexuality in that way.”

    I question this by Ono, for example (and just looking at only europe) when european men wore hosiery (stocking n suspenders, tights, stockings) and leggings, it was a demonstration of a man’s virility. Ive read of an account of a Lady being upset to find out that her servant’s calves were not real. Men wore false/ downy calves to achieve the look, right up to the 1830s. theres a satirical plate that shows a toothygrinning man with a popeye-armlike calve

    The method of making false or downy calves in stockings is by working raw or unspun wool or jersey or any other raw or unspun materials into the calves of stockings in the way already described

    The circle of the mechanical arts,1813

    1516ce, Swiss Guard standard bearer
    http://greatestbattles.iblogger.org/Swiss/Fhnrichunddirne.jpg

  4. So now our choices are: suits, jeans and a T-shirt, and…fluorescent skintight clown costumes? I appreciate the effort on Yoko Ono’s part to give men more options, but these are seriously bad and clearly designed for shock value to distract from her poorly-thought-out designs.

  5. More clothes for thin guys. Greaaaat. Sigh.

  6. This is one meme that I kind of don’t like: the substitute for Frustratingly Ill-guided and Restrictive Masculinity always seems to be somewhat femininity or genderfuck. Personally, I want to be able to wear, say, stuff like in Girl Genius (which actually has a rather sartorially-obsessed straight male character). In that comic, there are both some hypermasculine and less-masculine but still unmistakably male clothing styles.

    • I just watched Lincoln, and I was amazed at how well Lincoln was dressed, and he was downright shabby compared to some of the other men in the movie. The 19th century was a great time for that – if you could afford a tailor, of course.

    • Personally, I want to be able to wear, say, stuff like in Girl Genius (which actually has a rather sartorially-obsessed straight male character).

      I had quick look at that comic, you can buy those clothes – they now in the women’s section, thats all. You just need to shop there. As youre a male femi.nist that should be easier for you than for other men. Right? lololol

      • I do not think that you can buy a waistcoat with those strap thingies and a coat with a big embroidered collar that makes your shoulders look huge in the womens section. And if I could it would not fit.

  7. she doesn’t care if you are one of the greatest musical geniuses alive

    John Lennon was hardly that :p

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