WHO WEARS THE PANTS?
Three of Europe’s top women’s wear designers are wrestling with serious gender issues. Almost simul taneously, John Galliano, Alexander McQueen and Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquiere have announced plans to develop men’s wear at their respective houses. This summer, McQueen, who got his start in fashion as an apprentice on Savile Row, will introduce a line of bespoke men’s wear with the venera ble tailors H. Huntsman and Sons that will be sold at Huntsman in London and McQueen’s New York flagship, due to open in July.
Coincidentally, Ghesquiere is offering his men’s wear for fail: a small wardrobe of pants, jackets, coats and knits. And Galliano has said he will show his own men’s wear next year, “clothes that men mil want to wear and that women will want to tear off them,” he boasted. The race to dress both genders is turning into a ver itable smock fight.
Gauiano’s gesture is widely per ceived to be a sartorial riposte to the storm of atten tion showered on Hedi Slimane, who designs the male counterpart to Galliano’s women’s collec tions at Christian Dior. Slimane’s new men’s wear flagship for Dior in Milan has been drawing a sur prising number of female customers, and he’s made no secret of his ultimate desire to design for women. Now, boys…