Cathy Horyn Calls the Spring 2011 Men’s Shows Wimpy

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Yves St. Laurent. Photo: Imaxtree

Fashion critics seemed to have had a ball calling out the silly in the spring 2011 men's shows, but in reflecting on all of it, Times critic Cathy Horyn is disappointed. All those ridiculous looks we compiled yesterday? She calls them wimpy.

But men are having a hard time, as Hanna Rosin observed in an article in the current issue of The Atlantic, its tag line, “How women are taking control — of everything.” Men are wimping out, in the example of Judd Apatow’s chronic adolescent characters, or being mowed down by Beyoncé and Lady Gaga.

You sensed a little of this problem at the shows, and it was not a pretty sight. Stefano Pilati, the Saint Laurent designer, reverted to a drowsy Paul Bowles sexuality, with delicate young men in even more delicate-looking knits and high-waist shorts that rippled over skinny legs. If you saw a guy with a little fez tipped over his brow, what would you think? How fast can he set up my chair by the pool?

And she's right — man lace is wimpy even if it's Givenchy. As are skinny-boy models in short, wind-catching shorts. Maybe in another season or two the men's collections will embrace the minimalist aesthetic that drove everyone wild at the fall 2010 women's shows. Who doesn't love a guy in just a nice well-cut suit?

The Wimp Effect Is Strong in Paris [NYT]