When it comes to designers showing memorable collections, silhouettes are everything. The immediacy of a garment’s outline is a counterpart to the subtle details that can only be seen up close or touched to be appreciated. For example, Yohji Yamamoto has made loose and flowing shapes in black part of his signature, meaning his work is recognizable without needing to check the label or see a logo. But silhouettes can signify identity beyond brand or designer.
“Probably not since the New Romantics has menswear been as creative, fluid, and diverse as it is today,” says Gill Linton, CEO and editor-in-chief of online vintage outlet Byronesque. “Rick [Owens], Gucci, Thom Browne et al have, in their own ways, shattered the norms of what makes a shape suitable ‘menswear.’ But men have always used clothing as ‘code.’
In the past decade, menswear has been dominated by heavy graphic signifiers and brand logos, thanks, in part, to the rise of social media and the fact clothes are often bought with the intention of being shot, shared, and liked than they are for being worn in the day-to-day, which is where a silhouette can really come to life. In that sense, it would be remiss for any menswear enthusiast to underestimate the value of a memorable and emphatic form.
With that in mind, and using Jean-Raymond’s examples as a launching point, we’ve examined six of the most powerful and enduring fashion silhouettes of our time.
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Image : HIGHSNOBIETY / THOMAS WELCH