'80s Returns in Men's Fashions

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'80s Returns in Men's Fashions

Where do fad-conscious Korean men get their fashion inspiration?

Like their ever fashion-conscious girl friends and wives, they get it from trends suggested by the international vanguards of fashion. The look for spring/summer 2001 for men complements current women's style concepts, which were largely inspired by the 80s diva look. Looking ready to escort ladies to parties and sporting events in the warm weather, men are cutting progressively more relaxed silhouettes.

Stylish men living in the year 2001 don't appear hardworking. Runways and magazine spreads suggest a men's style that can only be applicable to after-hour functions or at play.

In truth, they are working even harder, but with the help of technological advances such as handy mobile equipment, online processing services and flexible work hours, they don't have to be iepresentlg at the workplace at all times. So men are more often out and about, and the line between work and play blurs with the new devices that allow them to do both simultaneously.

Major fashion industries around the world are targeting the century's newly rising class - the nouveau riche of the venture business and computer-related industry. These young professionals opt for more comfortable and casual outfits, rather than traditionally cut stiff suits and choking shirts.

It's no exception in Korea, according to the editor of men's magazine Esquire Korea, Choi Sun-hee.

When international fashion houses presented their new look for the 2001 spring/summer collection in Korea, they clearly demonstrated not only a casual attitude but also an '80s influence.

Louis Vuitton's designer Mark Jacobs suggested the pop star look of the '80s, as sported by David Bowie and the Stray Cats. The combination of sportswear and evening wear created a contrasting theme in one outfit.

A blazer or shawl-collared dinner jacket was thrown over the extreme comfort of jogging pants. Silk knit sweaters made a casual statement at work. The Vuitton men were breaking conventions and taboos.

Vuitton's clothes were all about David Bowie in a jacket with rolled-up sleeves and pointy white shoes, doing his "Let's Dance" moves. They are about structure and activity, in the fashion terminology. Jackets came with strong square shoulders, the signature look of the '80s. Pants are cut with two pleats, making them comfortable to wear.

Bright colors such as moss green, turquoise, royal blue, florescent colors gleamed in the spotlight. Pastels, khaki, lime, sky blue and grey played a more subtle role while checks and plaids on classic materials such as cotton, silk and laminated cotton mesh worked well for men at play. For some unexpected pleasure, Vuitton designs featured bleached spots and small patterns on the pocket. Nostalgic bandannas and iaClic Claclc prints made of grey, orange, blue and beige were among this year's special looks, and details included polka dots in mysterious mixes of colors, little padlocks, square buttons, top stitching and rivets.

Accessories such as isLVls pins and double belts, moccasins and pointy shoes also represented the '80s influence. Gucci men also endorsed the bigger jacket look with an emphasis on shoulders. Pants are loose, long, wide and straight. The most noteworthy of this year's modes is the oriental influence.

Shirts and pants came with Chinese dragon motifs and colorful Japanese prints. They were also inspired by judo and karate, thus the loose gown-like design. Jackets were tied with loose belts like the judo belt. The central theme of Gucci men's style in 2001 is said to be "Zen."

The muscular men featured on Gucci's runways reflect the made-up look of Robert Mapplethorpe, who used to sport white high-collared shirts or white shirts with no tie. Gucci's accessories include, again, pointed shoes made of classic materials such as alligator skin, and they came with a buckle on the side. And gold is still very strong.

Ferragamo men's collection for spring/summer 2001 is made almost entirely in sophisticated urban hues and refreshingly light tones - distinctively Italian.

The clothes are relaxed in bright yet rich colors against white, and they have the slim and fit line of the tailored look, employing luxurious yet light and soft-tone summer materials.

Summer silk tweed, gabardine, cashmere, stone cotton tweed, suede and leather were used to give luxurious feeling; silk pique and waterproof silk poplin lent clothes a crisp feeling.

The '80s influence in Ferragamo can be also traced in slim shoes, distinctive pattern and print works that offer casual appeal.

by Ines Cho

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