Daddy Cool: Decoding Menswear’s Latest Muse

by MR Magazine Staff

“Young dads in the park with their kids at the weekend,” read the show notes at Balenciaga’s spring/summer 18 suburban spectacle. Taking place in the Bois De Boulogne, on the western fringes of Paris, it showed exactly that: Dads, accessorized with real life children — the models’ actual flesh and blood FYI, as Demna just asked his usual suspects to bring along their kids for the ride, carrying them under their arms as if they’re the new It bag. The clothes were typically Dad too. Most notably, there was an excellently awkward assemble of an oversized blazer worn with pulled-up denim jeans and brown leather loathers. The Dad as a muse has been bubbling underground for a little while now, but – as with the majority of today’s most hyped trends – it was jumpstarted by Demna, and his corporate themed autumn/winter 17 Balenciaga collection. The star of the show was the ugly but equally brilliant, clumpy trainers that were dressed-up with just-so-perfectly-ill-fitting tailoring and ties — think working Dad on the school run. “These are those same men, out of the office, relaxed and observed at their happiest,” the spring/summer show notes continued. Demna didn’t stop with Balenciaga. Let’s look to the Georgian designer’s own baby, Vetements. Taking to the streets of Zurich — where Vetements recently relocated — Demna and co. recruited real people there and then, asking if they would like to play dress up and be photographed in the spring/summer 18 collection. The result was 54 life-sized photographs of ordinary boys and girls, men and women dressed in tucked-in t-shirts, geeky trainers, office-appropriate tailoring, reimagined pieces from the Vetements archive, and utilitarian sportswear. The latter reminded me of what my own Dad would wear when I was younger. Out of those 54 portraits, three featured fully fledged families and seven or eight could have been fathers. Read more at i-D.