Fashion criticism, if you’re privileged enough to do it, is a pretty cool practice. It brings you into constant contact with creativity and beauty. It allows you to think and write about the ways that what humans choose to put on their bodies affect almost everything about how we move through social and cultural space. Often enough, it’s fun.
Yet there’s a flaw in the process, and it is that, unlike those who write about art, music, dance, architecture and, especially, food — fashion critics approach their subjects at an unfortunate remove. We look at clothes all the time, and yet seldom do we experience them as intended by their creators. We do not wear them.
Thinking about this during the Milan men’s wear shows, I decided to view the collections less as critic and more as a consumer, allowing myself to respond emotionally to individual looks, to imagine possessing them. In short, I went shopping. This, then, is not a strict review but a somewhat random list of stuff I bought for my fantasy closet.
Let’s start with Prada and a roomy swing topcoat in charcoal wool styled to be worn over faded jeans with a faded denim shirt and, from what I could make out, an equally distressed blue tie. The look was Canadian tuxedo apotheosized (with apologies to Canada), and this critic wanted it immediately. Add to cart, accept all cookies.