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SHOWtime: Milan A/W 23 Menswear

published on 21 January 2023

A new series brings two new panellists ready to dish their takes on fashion's mishaps this season. Returning contributors Rian Phin and Arianna already know the drill but how will they take to Benji Park and Timothy's points of view... at least everyone can agree with Park that cancel culture hasn't affected the industry's top dogs in a way it should've done, or has it?

Whatever side you sit on, clutch your cuppa tight as the tea is about to thrown.

A new series brings two new panellists ready to dish their takes on fashion's mishaps this season. Returning contributors Rian Phin and Arianna already know the drill but how will they take to Benji Park and Timothy's points of view... at least everyone can agree with Park that cancel culture hasn't affected the industry's top dogs in a way it should've done, or has it?

'The runway is ignoring the classic rules of traditional tailoring due to vintage buying trends' - Timothy Chernyaev

'Brands are mimicking the way vintage shoppers consume' according to Chernyaev, 'so you're paying full price for pants that are too long'. This may be true, especially when one thinks of Armani; they're synonymous with expert tailoring, after all. However, the rebuttals are back, and they're stronger than ever. 'The Gen Z fashion psyche - such as myself - doesn't have Armani at the forefront of our mind', notes fashion commentator Park. He does agree that those traditional tailoring rules create exquisite design, and yet because of this, also thinks they're still relatively in demand'. Phin would rather look at it on a case-by-case basis admitting that every brand has a different expectation depending on its customer.

Anyway, who said we have to follow one rule?

'This season's over-reliance on the use of viral accessories feels like a cheap cop-out to attempt to remain relevant.' - Arianna Aviram

'Why can't I just celebrate thoughtful and elegant design?' asks Aviram; Park agrees wholeheartedly, commenting, 'sometimes a frog is just a frog', a dig at JW Anderson, we imagine. Chernyaev reckons it comes from an artistic place 'Schiaparelli played around, so why can't we?' Phin seems to agree, adding that it gives these brands relevance; 'no shade, but we wouldn't be talking about these brands if they didn't have an ugly gimmicky accessory'. As far as we're concerned, that's definitely shade, Phin. Oh, and Park completely changes his mind halfway through, within good reason, though (we think).

'Brands have become 'uncancelleable', and this is a problem' - Benji Park

'We can all universally accept that Dolce and Gabbana have acted in a way that is morally reprehensible', Park starts, and he's right. However, fashion's notoriously-racist duo is thriving, proven by the fact that Park divulges he even has colleagues and contemporaries who now work with them. 'The fact that the fashion public refuses to cancel some people shows where the industry's morals lie', thinks Phin. Aviram takes a more nuanced approach, understanding that there is a difference - however subtle - between ignorance and intention.

At the end of the day, Chernyaev knocks it on the head, asserting, 'with cancellation, it comes down to education and people refusing to be dismissive.' Too right.

'Practical fashion can help fuel the industry's sustainability problem' - Rian Phin

So, 'boring is sustainable' according to Phin. Aviram wants to play devil's advocate believing that design - no matter how bold or how boring - isn't the issue and production methods are, thinking made-to-measure is the best way to go. Does Phin stick to her word? Or does she do a Park and flip halfway through... on that, where do Park and Chernyaev sit on the sustainability spectrum? Do they agree with each other or with Phin? Watch and decide for yourself.

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