JORDANLUCA AW19 Review: Masculinity through the fashion lens
By Sophie Winfield
Exploring Sigmund Freud’s psychosexual theory through a collection that questions the norms surrounding the masculine identity, in the bedroom.
Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto aim to resist and challenge the norms of contemporary menswear, and their eponymously named brand Jordanluca achieved just that with their AW19 presentation at London fashion week men’s.
Shortly after walking into the showroom, it became clear that the set was meant to look like a teenage boy’s bedroom; mattresses were pressed upright against the wall with messy, unkempt bedding surrounded by dirty dishes and full ashtrays. Upon closer inspection, however, it became clear that Jordanluca weren’t just focusing on presenting a typical boy’s bedroom with this set, but were perhaps trying to communicate more sinister themes. This collection, suggests ‘exploring the mind of a man compelled by vice and presents the conflict of predatory obsession’. These themes of vice, obsession and the predatory nature of man became apparent upon closer inspection of the set. There were dishevelled beds, surrounded by broken china, white bras and briefs surrounding bodily-fluid-stained bedsheets, and tissues playfully placed to drip what one can only assume to be post-sexual-encounter fluids. These parts of the set clearly allude to the predatory, even dangerous, and sexual nature of man, perhaps as a comment on the toxic masculinity that is becoming rife throughout our society. The explanation of these men being ‘compelled by vice’ also arises concern regarding the type of man Jordanluca are portraying, one who is obsessive and immoral? Perhaps one who crosses the boundary of consent? It is unclear exactly how immoral these men are meant to be; yet it is clear that Jordanluca are focussing the attention of this collection on the sinister and perverse side to the male psyche.
The themes of toxic masculinity and obsession that are clear through the set were perhaps more apparent through the collection itself. Dark tones of veal, khaki and black were most apparent throughout the ‘undressing of menswear’. Starting with double-breasted overcoats, suits, and Freudian-printed jackets, making its way down to bulletproof corsets and pleated layers of hosiery fabric. Whilst the clothes were an interesting break away from the regular menswear style and moved towards a more conceptual collection, it is perhaps more interesting to see this move towards concept over formality (as well as the way the collection showed an ‘undressing’ of man) as a commentary on the need for understanding the nature of man. Masculinity is, after all, a concept more than it is a rule or definite system of boundaries and identities. The concepts attributed to masculinity need to be broken down, or undressed, in order to eradicate the predatory obsession that the collection so heavily focuses on. Jordanluca also deconstructed binaries of gender and identity through their chosen models. They utilised a diverse casting of men who breakaway from the conventions of traditional masculinity and instead personified a gender hybrid with long, past-the-shoulder-length hair and a rigid gaze, adding both the beauty of typical femininity and the harshness of typical masculinity to reflect the overall mood of the collection.
Overall, the collection was wonderful, leaving with an inquisitive attitude, and wanting to question why we, as humans, are the way we are. It was a thought-provoking collection that makes us question human morals and analyse the societal norms.