Style police: Cred men don't wear plaid
Kilts went from risque to passe without ever being cool, despite Gaultier's efforts. James Sherwood reports
Sunday 04 May 1997
Instead of the usual fodder (towelling track suits and moccasin slippers), Jean-Paul has brought PVC jeans, techno-print T-shirts and crisp white shirts to Empire. The star piece in JPG by Gaultier is an old Jean-Paul favourite: the unisex mini-kilt, as worn by Gaultier on Channel 4's Eurotrash. The mini-kilt must rank with thongs (were you paying attention last week?) and sarongs as male fashion problem pieces. Without the right shoes, good legs and bravery, the wearer of the mini-kilt will inevitably look more Minnie Mouse than Marcus Schenkenberg.
An exception is Edinburgh-based past Hairdresser of the Year George Patterson, who has worn the mini-kilt for years. "I had a Scottish designer make up a version of the Gaultier kilt: short, pleated and in heavy grey fabric," says Patterson.
Gaultier is not the only designer to try to get men into skirts. Vivienne Westwood had a highland fling seasons ago and has designed her own officially recognised Westwood tartan. Alexander McQueen's "Highland Rape" collection was, apparently, an ironic comment on Westwood's obsession with Scotland. But, unlike Westwood and McQueen, Gaultier is the only designer who consistently includes skirt separates in his menswear collections; be they tartan, leather or leopard skin. "This season, Jean-Paul was influenced by Asian fashion, so there are more sarongs and wrap skirts in stock," says Kieran Dorgan, manager of London's Galleria Gaultier. "The kilt will always be a signature piece. I suppose it started as a gay thing to wear kilts in the clubs, but that is not the case now."
You'd expect the mini to be for none but the brave and young. "Not so," says Dorgan. "Our customers have grown-up with Jean-Paul. This summer, 30 to 40-year-old men are buying kilts and sarongs. Our Indian embroidered multi-stripe kilt at pounds 395, is the only one we have left. Let me tell you, these are very straight men you wouldn't poke fun at in a pub." At pounds 85 for Gaultier catalogue mini-kilt, Style Police predicts a summer of men in skirts.
Life & Style blogs
Windows 10: man updates PC, wakes up to find porn slideshow on repeat
Free porn websites could be shut down within months, says David Cameron
The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
National Orgasm Day: Six reasons (plus one bogus one) why they're good for us
The 'world's most beautiful vagina' has been debunked by science
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Calais Migrant Crisis: Deputy Mayor of Calais labels Cameron's use of 'swarm' as 'racist' and 'ignorant'
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'
Calais crisis: The seven claims made about the migrants - and the reality
- 1 Labour rallies behind Flint as deputy leader to offset a Corbyn win
- 2 The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath
- 3 It won’t work, Jeremy: The Health Secretary has lost the confidence of the medical profession in his attempt to reform the NHS
- 4 Dutch King Willem-Alexander declares the end of the welfare state
- 5 'Cool kids' can go on to become losers in later life, study finds
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an I...
£17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a leading company in the field ...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£26041 - £34876 per annum: Recruitment Genius: There has never been a more exc...