Over at The Business of Fashion, Angelo Flaccavento dropped an essay about fashion's insatiable desire to stay young. While the concept isn't anything groundbreaking, his insights from the front lines of Paris Fashion Week provide some context. Designers are obsessed with not just the idea of youth, a time in one's life when they figure who they are and what they like, but getting the youth to buy and wear their products. Yet, at the same time, the appeal of youthfulness spreads to older folks, where the perfect item of clothing can bring back their spritely demeanor and "be young again." That's a timeless, enduring message that fashion is based on: "You will feel young and cool if you wear these clothes." But now, it's not necessarily about feeling young, but looking young and ageless and that was never clearer than the model castings in Paris.
I'm sure you saw the droves of skinny, waif-like men trotting down the runway with cinched waists, some even with exposed dicks. Is there a more apt symbol for youth than a penis that, well, actually works? That's a rhetorical question I would prefer not hearing about from our older audience. Flaccavento dives deeper into the idea of youth and rebellion and how luxe brands like Hermés present their collections as "youthful" despite the fact that no one below the age of 35 is wearing them. Some brands skirt the issue by, who would have guessed it, casting appropriate models, singling out Officine Generale, Christophe Lemaire, Umit Benan and Ami, though their designs do kinda put them on the outer edges of the "designer" world.
I don't think it's a stretch to say this youth movement could be a direct result of the brands that specifically show in Paris. I mean, their designs almost require skinny models. I mean, have you ever tried fitting your fat ass into a pair of Saint Laurent jeans?