It's true that for most of the 21st Century menswear took a backseat to the ever changing, innovative, and glamorous world of womenswear. While this bears more in depth socioeconomic study, there are two main reasons for this. Firstly designers were inclined to focus on womenswear, where there was more scope for design, for innovation, luxury, extravagance, whimsy, you name it. Secondly, women were more willing to experiment with their wardrobes, to invest money season after season on new clothes, follow new trends. It was a match made in heaven.
But this is changing. Designers are more and more interested in menswear and the possibilities it holds, which means the boundaries of mens fashion, previously narrow and limiting, are being pushed. Simultaneously, men are increasingly hungry for fashion and design. A growing portion of men are no longer satisfied with the staid, unmoving 'fashion' they are offered by the high street, and even designers. They are just as interested in cutting edge design, in trend, in innovation as women.
This demand, first of all, was expressed only by the minority. These pioneering few sought what they were desired in edgy indie boutiques, or even items borrowed from the girls. These boys much preferred to browse Topshop and vintage shops with the girls, rather than sift through what was offered them in Topman etc.
Things have changed. What with many up and coming designers producing solely menswear and established brands revamping their approach to the mens fashion, we are witnessing a repopularisation of fashion for men.
Take a quick look through the annals of history and we see that mens fashion has not always been such a dull and dreary arena. In fact, it would seem that this chasm between mens and womens fashion is mainly a modern, 21st Century phenomenon, and this resurgence of mens fashion is only righting the balance.
I realise there may be objections to my point of view, but please note, I am only discussing industry fashion here, mainstream stuff. Subculture and street fashion for men has been alive and kicking just as much as for women.
Fashion is once again becoming the realm of all, not just a women's arena. And if the latest mens fashion weeks are anything to go by, the future hold exciting things for all of us.