For the many of you who have no idea who I am (so, basically, like, everyone), I'm the Deputy Style Editor at Complex. That means I spend the majority of my time editing half of our bi-monthly magazine and overseeing much of our style-related content, like this very site. I've spent roughly six years of my life writing about menswear because I am a total fucking nerd about clothing. And, I know, many people will probably say, "So, now sounds like a good time to let it go." I don't consider myself an expert about menswear, but I have covered my fair share of rodeos. But women's fashion? Well, that's a completely different game.
If Paris Fashion Week is the NBA, menswear is its D-League, at best. Sure, menswear as a market has grown, but the number of guys rushing to Style.com to peep the latest shows isn't exactly proliferating. It's true that men in general are slowly becoming more interested in "looking good," but most are still very leery of the idea of Fashion—with a capital "F"—preferring "style" as their safe word. It suggests that they’re into clothes, but could give a rat's ass about the runway.
Last week I was afforded the opportunity to be in Paris during Women's Ready-To-Wear Fashion Week, the culmination of "fashion month," which kicks off in New York, heads to London, Milan and then the City of Lights. For the uninitiated, here's why the current NYFW men's schedule is problematic: The spring/summer men's market week—the time when buyers, editors and other professionals are looking to order things for stores or pull looks for editorial—occurs in late June/early July. So, by the time September rolls around, men's collections are usually old news to people who saw the stuff at tradeshows like Pitti Uomo months prior. It's also one of the reasons why some of New York's top homegrown talent opt to show abroad instead, #ButThatsNoneOfMyBusiness *sips tea*.
Fashion in Paris is so goddamn serious that even the in-flight magazines have beautiful editorials and glossy ads from Dior and Chanel. Just about everything is a constant reminder that if menswear is your game, you are an infinitesimal mote of dust on the sole of Phoebe Philo's Stan Smiths. I came, I saw, I came back to America totally humbled, as you're about to see.