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The Controversial Man Skirt


Once again fashion is causing a stir for people who have no intention in following it.  As the man skirt gets more and more popular, and we are not talking about traditional native kilts here, it is certainly causing a controversial debate not only among fashionistas but Liberal human rights organisations.  Personally, I am still unsure if I am a fan of  the Man Skirt from a fashion point of view, none-the-less I am a supporter of sexual liberation in clothing, and the man skirt seems to have taken this to a whole new level.  It bemuses me that there seems to be an unseen rule book that states what a man or woman can or cannot wear.

An early example of someone rebelling against this so called "rule-book" was Emma Snodgrass, who was arrested for wearing trousers in 1852.  How ridiculous is that?  It wasn't until 1914, 62 years later it was made legal (yes that's right, legal) for women to wear trousers, however it was still considered controversial for a female to show a bit of ankle.  In the 1920's, females finally took on the androgyny look by wearing tailored trouser suits with skinny ties.  However, 30 years later with the Stepford look of the 1950's it was again frowned upon for women to dress in trousers.  It seems as though society took a few hops up the gender equality ladder, missed a step and slipped back down again.  (All those women's rights lectures are finally paying off, yay). Surely us populace of the 21st century are more open minded than this?

I think the question is now though, are men following in the footsteps of women when it comes to fashion liberation, regardless if it is a skirt or not?  All you have to do is take a look at men in the 16th century with their flamboyant wigs and high heels.  You can tell that the only difference between men and women in that era was the moustache.  Just look at how much more decorative the male is in more or less every other species on the planet.  Would it be wrong of me to say that maybe as males it is in our nature to be flamboyantly over the top?

The man skirt first hit the runways in Spring/Summer of 2009.  Male models were paraded down the Catwalk in an array of dress ranging from long flowing skirts to black kilts and even culottes.  There was only a handful of daring designers who showed skirts on the runway.  These included the late Alexander McQueen, Jean-Paul Gaultier and of course Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton.  Without a doubt, Marc Jacobs is probably the main promoter of the man skirt whether he is donning it with gladiators and a white silk shirt or with military boots and a plaid lumberjack shirt.  I think we can all admit, even if we are a fan or not of the man skirt, that he looks pretty amazing.  Maybe this is actually an item that belongs solely on the waists of the burlier man or a tall guy, someone who can make it more "Grrr I am wearing a skirt", rather than "La lalala I am a pretty little skirt-wearer".  However, I would say that a skirt is not the most practical thing to wear.  I am sure using a urinal would prove to be a bit tricky.

I can only imagine that we will not see an array of men lounging in the park in a leopard print  knee-length or handing in the tailored trousers  to strut in to their office in a woolen A-line.  But who knows.  I'm intrigued to see how a man will tackle the infamous Marilyn Monroe air vent scenario.

Mark