News & Runway

WHAT IS AN IDEAL MAN?

The world of male modeling is really fascinating. If female models are supposed to represent the ideal woman, than wouldn’t the corollary be true for men? Taking cues from Da Vinci, the ideal man would look a little something like this:

I think my man Leonardo knew what he was talking about. However, this scientific concept of exact proportion seems increasingly less so, as male models are beginning to posses slightly more feminine features. The days of mega-hunk Marcus Shenkenberg are over, and this new group of boys have lithe figures and androgynous looks. The differences between female and male models are become less and less marked — I mean, take a look at any Raf Simmons show and some of the boys are thinner than most girls. Please see below:


How gaunt those cheeks are! Eat something, darling.
These male models carry a certain delicacy about them, or fragility maybe, that sometimes reminds me of Mr. Dorian Gray and makes it hard to look at them as anything besides statuesque figures of objective aesthetically pleasing quality .

On the contrary, I think female models will always be seen as the height of beauty to so many people, these otherworldly creatures, inaccessible to all. While the Supermodels of the late 90s are not as en vogue as they used to be, female models are still seen as Sex Symbols. Gender is becoming so androgynous anyways; women wearing mens clothing, men wearing womens…I suppose it makes logical sense that fashion would progress to the extreme point of similarity.

It’s interesting, because, women have been taking cues from menswear for ages: Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn, Lauren Hutton and Yves Saint Laurent have all wholeheartedly embraced the principles of men’s tailoring. This embrace exuded a kind of traditionally, classically masculine appeal. With the advent of the 21st century, it seems as though men are accepting a feminine approach to dressing — the tight, V-neck, chest-baring shirts of American Apparel, the skirts!, the short shorts, handbags, etc.  It’s a very current concept; I mean, Dandyism (which wholeheartedly embraced an exquisite attention to detail in terms of personal style) was oft-ridiculed and cast aside as supremely feminine. But these days, seeing a man care so much for his appearance and dress is commonplace.


Examples…

Squint Homme Magazine. While this model is objectively attractive and possessing a rather pleasing bone structure, he is just too feminine! He seems a bit meek I think.

Numero Homme Magazine.

Sean O’Pry is an interesting character. He’s a bit of a chameleon, I think. Below he is styled in a very Dandy- esque

spread, with the second photo looking a bit like an Yves Saint Laurent pose.

I don’t really have any conclusions to draw.   I guess it’s just interesting to think about the increasingly androgynous sense of costume (fashion) and gender identity in our generation. I personally think all male models should be required to look like this:

 

He may have been sprightly himself, but that Yves sure knew how to pick his men…