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Style Report: Menswear’s Continuous Flirtation With Lace Materials

How does fashion industry treat lace in menswear, we explore the reasons of using lace materials and shaping trends.

burberry lace for menMMSCENE magazine investigates why for years now menswear designers while infatuated with lace as a material had little to no success making the same a constant in this fast paced industry. [Images above by Sharon Mor Yosef for MMSCENE print stories]

Menswear as an industry is more or less relying on it’s quite limited classical adjectives, the fact an all familiar button shirt and a suit can last you for years and transcend seasonal style changes is self explanatory. Thus lace is always struggling to become a part of the masculinity pushing forward the industry despite many designers still using it.

Often lace as a material doomed by it’s feminine sentiment is never part of menswear collections for more than a season. Considered a daring element to any men’s outfit it is always used by designers more prone to a more alternative vision. While buying designer lace is not on the radar of a typical male shopper, lace is still a recurring inspiration for many top brand fashion designers. Nevertheless deemed as non-profitable even when used often we are trying to find a reason why it fails to become a more permanent element of a menswear designer’s aesthetic.

While an integral part of womenswear, we examine the most successful men’s collections featuring lace and spotlight the designers who manage to use it to this day. From it’s past we also move to lace on the latest runways, all of that and more after the jump:

 

TOP MENSWEAR BRANDS EMBRACING LACE MATERIALS

While deemed as an eccentric element lace still returns to the catwalks in a more or less regular cycle. If today’s menswear designers are intrigued with lace a as a material why to this day it has never been a part of a major menswear trend? In the recent years a few fashion ready to wear brands have worked hard on bringing lace as an integral part of a men’s staple pieces. Perhaps the most confident attempt came from Fashion Designer Christopher Bailey during his reign at Burberry. For the Summer 2016 Burberry Prorsum menswear collection designer worked on creating special cotton lace and then using it to complete officewear menswear pieces. While honouring the crafstmanship as well as the quality expect from it’s then luxury line Bailey enlists a small group of artisanal weavers to work exclusively on these collection pieces. Producing lace of such quality turned for Bailey and his team into an extremely timely task bringing the British fashion house to the levels of french couture, at least by the hours spend to produce the garments. Called by Bailey and Burberry design team strait-laced the material was used to create lace shirts, ties and to emebeliish collars of the all-famous heritage rain coat.

Using lace for a men’s Burberry trench was a daring way to update the signature piece often treasured by many fans of the fashion house who are sensitive to even the slightest change of the same. 

Burberry Lace Menswear

Exclusive Outtakes from MMSCENE Print Burberry special in 2016 photographed by Pat Supsiri, see the full shoot

While Bailey was always prone to experiment, for houses such as Burberry embracing neon colours, vinyl or lace materials is also a part of an extensive trend forecasting campaign. In many cases, top brands on the market use same forecasting agencies, which beyond suggesting floral patterns for summer are responsible for seemingly shocking trends popping on many runways at a time. 

LACE IN MENSWEAR AS PART OF HERITAGE

While Burberry today drifted away from the notion of using lace in menswear (unfortunately you won’t be able to buy a new Burberry straight-laced trench anymore), Italian brands such as Dolce & Gabbana use it to this day regularly in their collections. For Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana lace is also part of their often overused Italian heritage. Despite recently suffering a take back caused by Gabbana’s social media rampage the two to this day remain masters of menswear. What Dolce & Gabbana succeed in when it comes to using lace is neutralising the machismo’s disapproval of the same. Thus to this day lace is an often referral with their men’s tailoring, while often present in their ready-to-wear collections it is taking the spotlight in their capsule and sartorial menswear collections such as their Alta Roma endeavours. 

Spring Summer 2016 ready-to-wear Dolce & Gabbana suit – Photo ©Sharon Mor Yosef for MMSCENE

With a Dolce & Gabbana suit lace is opulent, it is used in a special occasion, thus it manages to find its place in any special or eveningwear occassion. Nevertheless office is not a place where a Dolce lace suit resides. 

Drifting away from the European continent it is important to note lace is often part of men’s designer wedding Sherwani outfits in India. With a few changes it is to this day part of these traditional outfits, whether as embroidery, or more prominent garments.  

LACE IN TODAY’S TOP BRAND COLLECTIONS

Perhaps the most prominent lace piece of the current season comes within the Christian Dior spring summer 2019 collection designed by the newly appointed menswear director Kim Jones. 

dior lace

The designer’s debut collection featured a reference to Mr Dior’s personal wardrobe archive, combining masculinity of a classic menswear suit with the fashion maison’s signature feminine touch. Jones uses lace for shirts predominantly the Dior Men’s Summer 2019 collection, in a variety of patterns perhaps the most popular makes a rendition of the Dior logo. 

Lace trousers worn by Erin Mommsen as an opening look of Saint Laurent Spring Summer 2010 show in Malibu – photo ©Saint Laurent.

In addition to Kim Jones the latest Spring Summer 2020 collection by fashion designer Antony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent still has lace on it’s memo sending a few looks this week on it’s runway debut in Los Angeles. 

ASTRID ANDERSEN LACE JERSEY

Backstage at Astrid Anderse, designers Lace Basketball Jersey from the spring summer 2018 collection photographed by Alin Kovacs for MMSCENE

Finally, the most striking example is designer Astrid Andersen whose collections display a striking match between basketball inspired garments lined with menswear, and often created entirely of lace. Andersen to this day is undoubtedly one of the most fearless designers when it comes to using lace in menswear. Not to forget designers and brands such as Moschino, Gucci, and N21 using lace in their menswear collections.

Are you daring enough to wear lace? Let us know in the comment box below:

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