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:
- Jeans and T-shirt
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.