As could possibly be expected from the former child star, justin bieber clothing has already established many a fashion transformation throughout the years. He’s done quiffed hair as well as a thick gold rapper’s chain. He’s posed looking buff in Calvin Klein pants. He’s experimented with a floppy fringe along with a suit. But although some of his attempts to toughen up are already met with derision, the most recent element of the Biebvolution is actually bang around the fashion money. There have been ripped jeans. There has been oversized hoodies, and oversized Nirvana T-shirts using the sleeves hacked off. Crucially, we have seen lots of layering – and lots of raw edges.
Not everybody gets it (“Justin Bieber wears bizarre frayed denim top,” was the Mirror’s response to his Marques’Almeida moment on the Radio 1 Teen awards earlier this month) although the latest incarnation of Bieber ties into a mood that is certainly sweeping through menswear – and could be arriving in your wardrobe soon.
Simply speaking: scruffiness is hot. Glitzy is out. Deliberately undone and messy is at. Think a Wolfgang Tillmans portrait meets 1990s grunge using a tracksuit top plus a pierced ear thrown in for good measure. You can dub it a hot mess for males, but the single thing you might never think of it is hipster – manicured beards needs to be ditched for haphazard facial hair immediately.
Undoubtedly, Marques’Almeida, the label justin bieber hoodie wore for the teen awards, continues to be integral to the boost in rise in popularity of denim as well as jeans that are hacked off and left raw. Basically, if it’s the kind of look which makes parents eyeroll and say: “You purchased that? Do want me to place proper hems on those?”, this has legs. Elsewhere on the catwalk, for his spring/summer 2016 menswear show, Raf Simons sent out herringbone trousers that were roughly stop with the anklebone, sat above some Stan Smiths. His shrunken tank knits had a sort of moth-eaten, make-do-and-mend thing occurring; close up, the holes within these knits are layered more than a contrast fabric layer, and, actually, are far nicer than I’ve made them sound.
Justin Bieber’s winter 2015 i-D magazine cover.
This new mood – a sort of anti-luxury luxury – can there be in all the glossy style magazines, too, although glossy certainly is the wrong word. Bieber’s recent cover shoot for i-D magazine is a superb reference point. It sees the pop star stripped back – bleached hair, a smattering of stubble, tattoos. Shot by Alasdair McLellan, just about the most in-demand photographers in vogue, these pictures have got a typical masculine rawness. Inside a short video to accompany this shoot, you can even see acne on his forehead. Imagine. Meanwhile, Tillmans has shot typically lo-fi stories for the latest Arena Homme including one called How Fragile is it Man?, while the Russian designer and photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy has photographed ballet dancer Sergei Polunin for Man About Town. The second sees the shaven-headed ballet dancer wearing retro sportswear with eye makeup and a few days worth of facial hair.
Haute scruff had also been all over just about the most talked-about moments of the spring/summer 2016 season: the Vetements show, that has been kept in a Chinese restaurant variously referred to as “tacky” (Dazed & Confused), “cheap and cheerful” (Vogue Runway) and “kitschy” (Business of Fashion) and featured clothes which were all deconstructed awkwardness and models who looked like they had just rolled out of bed. Most of them weren’t actually models: Rubchinskiy appeared, wearing a DHL T-shirt (yes, as in the parcel delivery service); the show stylist, Lotta Volkova, took a turn on the catwalk, closing proceedings in thigh-high boots plus a raw-edged denim miniskirt. The Vetements influence popular is just set to continue: right after the show, among Paris’s most historic fashion houses, Balenciaga, announced that its lead designer, Demna Gvasalia, would be to become its new creative director.
Rubchinskiy is another of the buzziest names in menswear; since 2012 his label is backed up by Comme des Garçons. His clothes feel as if a nerdy undertake Soviet sportswear – think a shellsuit top or 1980s patterned jumper. Snazzy, however, not.
In fact, if all else fails, the real key to the look is really a vintage-style tracksuit top. Gosha or AMI (next season) for guys. Chloe (next season) or Bottega Veneta resort for women (see British Vogue’s December issue, where several tracktops are featured as part of the “new downtown silhouette”). Basically, it’s all a little Damon Albarn circa 1996. How come this humble zip-up sum up this new anti-luxury luxury? Firstly, as it ticks the 1990s box – and the dexqpkyy16 is starting to become the decade du jour. Secondly, it’s the contrary of all the justin bieber clothing that has been the headline news in menswear over the past several years. And finally, it’s an easy task to chuck on, doesn’t appear like you’ve made an effort but suggests that you know what’s occurring. Which feels scruffy and modern indeed.
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