Manly men, we’ve got some bad news: Milan does not approve of your muscles and sneakers. Men’s spring collections for 2011, which showed this week in Italy, introduced several new gender-bending trends that wouldn’t be at home at the gym or a club.
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Male models were encased in meggings (a painful-looking hybrid of men’s jeans and leggings) so fitted that they would endanger sitting or circulation. Crop tops, which Jennifer Lopez and Lindsay Lohan love this year, found their way to Calvin Klein’s men’s collection, where beefcakes paired them with boxer briefs. Speedos were tinier than ever, and necklaces for men became statement pieces. The ubiquity of mandals necessitated a great pedicure. Vivienne Westwood encapsulated all this daring femininity by parading around several gentlemen donning knee-high socks, parasols, and women’s wigs. (Hello, Mrs. Doubtfire!)
Even when you peer underneath the clothes, the season does not bode well for the bulked up men of yesteryear. A. Rod and “The Situation” wouldn’t dream of sporting these looks—and luckily, they don’t have to. As Franca Sozzani, editor-in-chief of Italian Vogue, tweeted Monday: “After having seen most of the men’s show I can tell you guys: you have to be very slim, muscles are not fashionable any longer.”
Isabel Wilkinson is an assistant editor at The Daily Beast based in Los Angeles.