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Mens Fashion Has Bland Ambition

Jan 20, 2008
Many fashion pundits and bloggers are predicting that the next fashion phase for men will be a look dubbed avant-bland.

Avant bland involves wearing especially conservative and downright dull looking clothes - pleat fronted trousers, white shirt, dowdy tie. It's a look that to me anyhow, invokes Kevin Spacey for some bizarre reason. Above all, its a consumer reaction to the excesses that we've been witnessing in the designers' winter collections.

I'm not a big John Galliano fan, to be honest but you know, live and let live and all that. However, I draw the line at a knitted skirt with what appears to be be a huge woollen erm appendage on the front of it. It generted plenty of column inches for sure but then, so did Pol Pot. And look how that all turned out.

A Galliano knited skirt with a woollen appendage seems to invoke virtually the same reation in every male in the western world. That reaction being; not going out to buy a knitted skirt with a wollen appendage strapped to the front of it, which seems to be an entirely approprate reaction to me.

That said, the fact that reaction seems to be leading to avant bland has me asking questions about the logic behind it. Several articles I have read suggest that you acheive the "ab" look not by nipping out to your local Marks and Spencer, but instead with clothes bought from Armani, Ralph Lauren, Hugo Boss and Ferragamo. To assemble that sort of look would set you back somewhere in the region of five hundred pounds or a thousand dollars.

Lets just take that in for a moment, that is, a thousand dollars you've just spent making you look like you buy your clothes from the same place as your dads older brother. Is it just me, or is that pretty much the fashion version of investing in those unmissable stock opportunities and tips your in-box fills up with unsolicited on a daily basis? Actually digressing for a moment, a journo friend of mine invested in some of those stock tips once as an experiment to see if they were any good. He lost his shirt. Don't try that at home, kids. I read a nice turn of phrase the other day, it said you might as well glue your money to a dogs butt and watch it run off into the distance. More advice - don't actually glue anything to any part of your dog, kids. Or kids. Or kids dogs. Or dogs kids, for that matter. You get my drift.

You have to wonder if avant bland isn't some practical joke invented by a certain pencil mustachioed fashion designer who's name rhymes with Bon Malliano. After all, who's the bigger idiot? The guy spending a thousand dollars on deliberately boring clothes or the bloke wearing the suggestive man-skirt? At the very least, it's a close call.
About the Author
Mark Errington is Marketing Director at English fashion designer Queen Of Suburbia, specialising in ladies Fashion T-shirts. Further examples of his writings on fashion and celebrity can be found on their fashion blog.
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