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Greg Lauren: We Could Be Heroes

greg-lauren-nyfw-men-fw16-2Artist Greg Lauren has some pretty strong ideas about masculinity and femininity. At least, if his Fall / Winter 2016 collection is any guide.

Anyone who fears menswear has gone too far into the realm of dandyism can breathe a sigh of relief.

After all, Lauren’s collection drips with macho sweat and grime, like Rocky Balboa out for a ride with Clint Eastwood in the world’s most improbable — yet oddly believable — pairing.

Lauren’s collection drips with macho sweat and grime, like Rocky Balboa out for a ride with Clint Eastwood.

Make it so.
Make it so.

But … just when you think you have the collection all figured out, you see these rugged, hyper-masculinized heroes … wearing skirts. Not a kilt, mind you. More akin to the “skant” that appears in the Star Trek universe.

Which is to say, a skirt.

2015 saw our culture take a longer look at what we perceive to be “masculine” and “feminine.” From gay marriage to the “tough gals” we cheer for in shows like Game of Thrones, Jessica Jones, and even Star Wars, the message is deeper than feminism or masculinism: it’s a sudden onrush of humanism.

This new wave of thinking forces us to consider that toughness or sensitivity may not be, at root, “masculine” or “feminine” traits after all, but human forces that exist in all of us, in varying degrees and combinations.

Toughness or sensitivity may not be, at root, “masculine” or “feminine” traits.

Although Lauren’s collection can be parsed many ways, it seems clear that its intention is to challenge our traditional ideas, and open our minds (as all great art does) to new skeins of possibilities.

The collection — which was presented as part of New York Fashion Week: Men’s at ARTBEAM — was captured in stunning detail by the museum-ready photography of Michael Barr with Greg Lauren.

 
The Collection

(Photos: Michael Barr & Greg Lauren)

Although certain elements recall some of his previous collections, channeling “urban nomadic” designers (such as Ann Demeulemeester, Rick Owens, or Yohji Yamamoto), this new collection shows more of kinship with the playful theatrical thunder of Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared2.

DSquared2 Fall / Winter 2013
DSquared2 Fall / Winter 2013

But — just as a strong concept can only be a loom — comparisons fall short of Lauren’s true accomplishment with this collection: an assembly that demonstrates mastery in every detail.

In the end, the real standout was the masterfully paired and blended color and fabric combinations, with detailed, cinematic distressing. Every spot-on touch makes it clear Greg Lauren is nothing less than a genius at work.

Every spot-on touch makes it clear Greg Lauren is nothing less than a genius at work.

And a choice of The Meters for the video soundtrack is just the cherry on the sundae.

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Find out more about the artist at GregLauren.com.

You can shop his looks at Barneys.

With love,

FWO

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