As might be expected from a former child star, justin bieber clothing has had 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 having a floppy fringe and a suit. But although some of his tries to toughen up happen to be met with derision, the most up-to-date part of the Biebvolution is really bang about the fashion money. There have been ripped jeans. There were oversized hoodies, and oversized Nirvana T-shirts together with the sleeves hacked off. Crucially, we have seen a great deal of layering – and plenty of raw edges.
Not all people 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) nevertheless the latest incarnation of Bieber ties right into a mood that is sweeping through menswear – and could be arriving in your own wardrobe soon.
Simply speaking: scruffiness is hot. Glitzy is out. Deliberately undone and messy is. Think a Wolfgang Tillmans portrait meets 1990s grunge by using a tracksuit top as well as a pierced ear thrown set for good measure. You might dub it a hot mess for men, but the single thing you might never consider it is hipster – manicured beards must be ditched for haphazard facial hair immediately.
Undoubtedly, Marques’Almeida, the label justin bieber hoodie wore towards the teen awards, has become integral to the rise in interest in denim as well as jeans that happen to be hacked off and left raw. Basically, if it’s the kind of look that makes parents eyeroll and say: “You bought that? Do want me to get proper hems on those?”, then it has legs. Elsewhere around the catwalk, for his spring/summer 2016 menswear show, Raf Simons sent out herringbone trousers that were roughly shut down on the anklebone, sat above some Stan Smiths. His shrunken tank knits had a sort of moth-eaten, make-do-and-mend thing going on; up close, the holes within these knits are layered across 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 – is there in the glossy style magazines, too, although glossy certainly is the wrong word. Bieber’s recent cover shoot for i-D magazine is a good reference point. It sees the pop star stripped back – bleached hair, a smattering of stubble, tattoos. Shot by Alasdair McLellan, probably the most in-demand photographers popular, these pictures use a typical masculine rawness. In 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?, as the Russian designer and photographer Gosha Rubchinskiy has photographed ballet dancer Sergei Polunin for Man About Town. The latter sees the shaven-headed ballet dancer wearing retro sportswear with eye makeup and a few days worth of facial hair.
Haute scruff have also been across just about the most talked-about moments in the spring/summer 2016 season: the Vetements show, which was held in a Chinese restaurant variously known as “tacky” (Dazed & Confused), “cheap and cheerful” (Vogue Runway) and “kitschy” (Business of Fashion) and featured clothes that had been all deconstructed awkwardness and models who looked like that they had just rolled out of bed. The majority of them weren’t actually models: Rubchinskiy appeared, wearing a DHL T-shirt (yes, like in the parcel delivery service); the show stylist, Lotta Volkova, took a switch on the catwalk, closing proceedings in thigh-high boots plus a raw-edged denim miniskirt. The Vetements influence popular is just set to go on: once 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 yet another of the buzziest names in menswear; since 2012 his label has been maintained by Comme des Garçons. His clothes feel like a nerdy handle Soviet sportswear – think a shellsuit top or 1980s patterned jumper. Snazzy, yet not.
In reality, if all else fails, the key to this particular look is a vintage-style tracksuit top. Gosha or AMI (next season) for males. Chloe (next season) or Bottega Veneta resort for girls (see British Vogue’s December issue, in which several tracktops are featured in the “new downtown silhouette”). Basically, it’s all a lttle bit Damon Albarn circa 1996. How come this humble zip-up summarize this new anti-luxury luxury? Firstly, since it ticks the 1990s box – along with the dexqpkyy16 is starting to become the decade du jour. Secondly, it’s the opposite of all the justin bieber clothing which has been the headline news in menswear in the past couple of years. And finally, it’s an easy task to chuck on, doesn’t appear like you’ve made an effort but suggests you are aware what’s occurring. Which feels scruffy and modern indeed.
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