I know we’re a long way from gender equality, but I’ve just seen encouraging signs that it is getting closer – at men’s fashion shows. What a breath of fresh air it is to see men being treated like women at last: trussed up, exposed, pin-headed, half-starved twigs, their movements hampered, looking grim-faced, peaky and ever so silly, while at Maison Margiela they “run the consumptive masculine gamut … vaguely pimp … [and] dirtily hippie”.
Of course, males have been suffering for fashion for some time. I was moaning ages ago to Olga about that strange young men’s style of wearing trousers at half mast, but she was thrilled by it. She’s even seen a pair fall down in the street, as the wearer was crossing the road. How she laughed, because here were men being physically restricted by their clothes, just as we have been for centuries. With their trousers below their bottoms, they couldn’t run, and walked as if they had slightly messed themselves.
And I notice that Gucci’s 2015 trousers are “pooled at the ankles”, which looks frightfully dangerous. Those boys could easily fall and break their legs, just as we do with our high heels, and I nearly do when my pyjamas “pool”. And even more dangerous was Rick Owens’s “hot, new visible penis trend” earlier this year.
“Nipples and willies are a bit vulnerable,” warns Olga. “Imagine going too close to a hawthorn bush.” Ouch. But perhaps men like a hint of risk, pain, bondage and brutality, to make sure things aren’t too girly. I spotted some strange external silver Bond-villain dentistry, loads of straps, leather, and a skate-park setting, perhaps to counteract the slimy, flobby satin, furry mouse ears, long shiny hair, handbags, transparent frocks and general twerpy look.
“I think they all look barmy,” says Fielding. “I just don’t get it.” What a stick in the mud, boring old fart he has become. Has he forgotten the flowing hair, snake-hips and kohl mascara of his youth? His pursuit of emancipation and equality? Well here it comes again. Seriously. It’s now a proper philosophy – Armani’s“mindset of a free spirit”.