Portmanteau Commentary: Ankles are the beacon of light for change

Remember when ankles were the sexiest part of the body a woman could show? We were heading in the right direction in fashion. Hemlines were changing, and attitudes toward optional silhouettes fast approaching. I might be optimistic, and there is still a long way to go - but the recent nod and inclusion of ankle exposing slim lined suits and trou' for men are very promising in terms of a design breakthrough I hope will catch on.

It wasn't that many months ago that at being questioned what my thoughts were on menswear in an interview by Amelia's Magazine I outlined my frustration with the fact that men simply do not experiment. I even went as far as to controversially state that most men I've had the pleasure of working for that far "have bigger mouths than the will to be experimental". I went on to say that "There’s not much room for experimentation for me as a designer, as they’re very specific about what they want and even half an inch down or up is a deal breaker. Hopefully I can be proven wrong one day."

A few days ago I had a few insightful discussions with some of my fellow menswear ethusiasts including the graphic designer David McGillivray and a few Twitter friends during which I came to realize that although there is a variety in menswear, the actual consumer varies from person to person instead of within situations as it does for women. As I said, when mentioning my upcoming collection including both womenswear and menswear, women comment "Oh, I can't wait to see what you've come up with" while men say "I hope the collection includes pieces that are basically what I already wear".

Although the experimentation is minimal and only applied in refinement of an already decided on style instead of a full blown experimentation, instead of being frustrated I'm feeling more driven to crack this nut than ever. I'm lucky that I'm still at the stage where I can establish and refine certain key pieces, design features particular to me and a fit I hope a group of guys will be able to incorporate as part of their already established style. Much like they do. In that respect I will be taking inspiration to their approach to styling and apply it to my approach to designing, different to the way I approach designing for women, which very much fits into the way women style.

I can't wait.

Furthermore, I can see the rays shooting through from behind the horizon. Where ankles pointed to a bright future of female fashion, ankles might be pointing at a bright future in menswear. I might not be alive for it, but I'll gladly join in with the first baby steps.