Gray Matters: Gray Heads on the Runway

It’s men’s show time in Florence, Milan and Paris and the runways are filled with prepubescent models wearing clothing that they likely can’t afford and are not interested in. Luxury brands like Hermes, Vuitton, Lanvin and you name it designer present on slender models who are chosen deliberately for their slim or not fully developed bodies.This is unscientific but I recall growing from age 16 to 20 so to my mind bodies are not fully adult until they hit 20. So why do designers chose boys to model men’s clothing ?

MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 14: A model, sunglasses detail, walks the runway at the Billionaire show during Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on January 14, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pietro D’Aprano/Getty Images for Billionaire)

I came across the Italian collection by Philippe Plein called Billionaire and stopped in my tracks because of the obvious difference. The male models had gray hair and acted perfectly confident and cool as they modeled the clothing which they look like they can afford to buy. The presentation was not a parade of shell-shocked expressionless teens with underdeveloped bodies . No, these guys inhabited the clothing with confidence.

MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 14: A model, sunglasses detail, walks the runway at the Billionaire show during Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on January 14, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Pietro D’Aprano/Getty Images for Billionaire)

As a fashion stylist, I usually work with size 40 reg or 42 reg ( that’s their suit jacket size) male models but designer clothing never fits on the models in their 30’s. I work on more mainstream publications, ads and celebrities, but because the runway samples are cut to fit the slender bodies of the young boys, I can’t use those brands to style.

caption id=”attachment_1933″ align=”alignleft” width=”640″] MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 14: Models are seen backstage ahead of the Billionaire show during Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on January 14, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Billionaire)[/caption]

Actually I’m a proponent of the movement to present older humans on the runway in general. Maye Musk is a female silver haired superstar in my book, and modeled at the women’s shows at NYFW She shocked  audiences out of the monotony of sleepwalking models when she walked confidently down the runway at Concept Korea and other shows.

MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 14: Models are seen backstage ahead of the Billionaire show during Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on January 14, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Billionaire)

Although I spend way too much time covering up gray hairs, I hope that seeing older humans portrayed in a positive and fashionable light  will one day allow me to be unchained from my colorist and proudly display who I am without fear of judgement from   powerful millennials  who are in positions of calling the shots and of hiring.

 

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MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 14: A model is seen backstage ahead of the Billionaire show during Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on January 14, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Billionaire)

MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 14: Models are seen backstage ahead of the Billionaire show during Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on January 14, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Billionaire)

MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 14: A model is seen backstage ahead of the Billionaire show during Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on January 14, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Billionaire)

MILAN, ITALY – JANUARY 14: Models are seen backstage ahead of the Billionaire show during Men’s Fashion Week Fall/Winter 2018/19 on January 14, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Billionaire)

About Mimi Lombardo

I'm a seasoned fashion editor, stylist and writer. I write about fashion and luxury from an insider's perspective. Check out my styling portfolio at mimi-lombardo.format.com.
This entry was posted in Fashion, men's fashion, Runway Fashion and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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