Each week, the Open Thread newsletter will offer a look from across The New York Times at the forces that shape the dress codes we share, with Vanessa Friedman as your personal shopper. The latest newsletter appears here. To receive it in your inbox, register here.
Have you seen “Wonder Woman” yet? If not, better hie thyself to a theater, because looking at the box office returns (and reading this newspaper), it seems to me everyone else has, and you don’t want to miss this cultural moment.
Not just because you may have to discuss it at your next dinner party/picnic/school graduation/schmoozefest, but because my guess is it is going to have repercussions far beyond the movie theater. Like… in your closet.
All my sociological hackles are rising and the little hairs on my arms are standing up, the way they do when I sense a trend coming on. Can’t you feel it?
I am not talking here, you understand, about Halloween costumes. I am not suggesting anyone rush out and buy themselves or their loved one a “W” headband for summer. But between an HSN collection, a Betsey Johnson tricolor backpack and an auction held on Wednesday in Paris to benefit African women, with Versace and Stella McCartney (among other brands) contributing “Wonder Woman”-inspired pieces, my bet is the essence of the film is already starting to seep into fashion’s hive mind.
There, it will marinate along with images of Theresa May, Angela Merkel, Serena Williams and other she-ros; red, blue and gold shades; and blockbuster generics. Until the next thing you know, it’s September and we are all sitting by the side of a runway looking at corsets and leather and knee-high boots.
I could be wrong. But I’d put good money on it.
Speaking of fashion shows, it is, believe it or not, collection time again. The spring 2018 men’s shows begin in London this weekend, move on to Florence, Milan and Paris, and end in New York on July 13. (Fall couture takes place in the middle, just to confuse you. And me.)
We’ll be bringing you daily front-row reports and news from our crack team of men’s wear experts — Guy Trebay and Matthew Schneier — while T’s Alex Fury will be clocking the trends. But for a bit of a palate cleansing beforehand, check out these stories on why so many N.B.A. teams are obsessed with gold, why we’re in for a new J. Crew and the weird parallels between the wardrobes of Claire Underwood and Melania Trump.
Q: I’m a guy who has worked (and spent) heavily to shape his entire wardrobe around Hedi Slimane’s tenure at Saint Laurent. Since I have a slimmer build, the overall aesthetic and fit of the pieces has suited me perfectly and I couldn’t be happier with my collection.
However, with Slimane no longer at Saint Laurent, new items to constantly refresh my wardrobe have come to a depressing halt. My question is if you recommend that I continue building out my wardrobe with past seasons of Slimane’s Saint Laurent, or if you think I should focus my attention on a different brand with similar proportions. — MARK GONZALES
A: If fashion teaches us anything, it’s that change is good, and can be transformative. I’m all for adopting a signature silhouette, but evolution is part of our DNA. Instead of mining the past, think about what it is you like about Hedi’s work and silhouette — the narrowness of the back, shoulders and legs; the just-this-side-of-appropriate edge — and make those the criteria for discovering someone new. The process itself can be surprisingly illuminating, both about your own tastes and about the men’s wear landscape.
To that end, Jason Rider, T’s senior fashion editor, has the following suggestions:
“Why not extend the life of those shrunken knits and ultra-slim trousers from Hedi’s Saint Laurent, and wear them in new combinations? In Balenciaga’s fall show, skinny jeans were paired with boxy blazers and chunky sneakers — a refreshing balance of proportions after seasons of collections that favored either end of the size spectrum. You can find the same kind of oversize jackets to update your skinny Saint Laurent jeans this season at Martine Rose, Gosha Rubchinskiy and Dries Van Noten.
“If it’s the vintage aura of Saint Laurent you’re pining for, new pieces with a worn-in, retro look abound in today’s market (Gucci, Wales Bonner). And the Americana look Hedi loved is big in the fall collections, especially at Raf Simons’s Calvin Klein. You might also like Cobra, a new New York-based shirt line that makes a nice western shirt with a slimmer cut.” — VANESSA FRIEDMAN