Taking on what masculinity really means and the aftermath at the end of the world
“I was thinking back to a time where there wasn’t a prescribed notion of masculinity,” explains Martine Rose during her menswear presentation. It seems to be a big issue this season, as other designers like J.W. Anderson and Astrid Anderson continue to blur the boundaries between menswear and womenswear. This season Martine Rose presented her own vision of masculinity, with a strong collection that featured lace frills, MA-1 bomber jackets and wide-cut 70s trousers. Here we speak to the designer about her installation space, turning podiums and why Rick James was a strong influence this season.
Dazed Digital: I’m interested in how you approach the installation space and that you have continued to display your models on turning podiums…
Martine Rose: I feel like I’m developing confidence, you know and I’m starting to realise that now it’s about repeating things. I really enjoyed creating a space for someone last season, you know, so I’ve taken the successful elements like the turntable which I think was beautiful and sort of repeating them.
DD: There are a lot of feminine details, why do you want to bring that into menswear?
Martine Rose: Rick James was a massive inspiration this season and I was thinking about a time where there wasn’t this prescribed notion of masculinity where it has to be baggy, or had to be casual. There are so many incredible people throughout history who have re-defined it and been really sexy and really masculine. So I was really playing with that idea and I was like, why not? Why is this considered feminine, why is this masculine?
DD: Who do you think has re-defined these prescribed notions of masculinity and femininity?
Martine Rose: I mean there are loads of people. There was a time when 70s footballers wore really tiny shorts and they all had long hair… I don’t know, I think we’ve got into this habit and laziness about what men are. What straight men are, what gay men are and what girls wear. I don’t know, I think it’s become a little bit lazy. There are references throughout history, there’s another reference I took that was a really famous image of Bob Marley playing football and he’s wearing a skintight tracksuit and there’s nothing more sexy.
DD: And then the flyers on the floor…
Martine Rose: It’s sort of end of the world-y, end of a rave, the images are on the back, the aftermath.