FashionFemale

Men wear skirts again. Why is there nothing strange 

In February of this year, American actor Billie Porter shocked the public by appearing at a ceremony for the Oscar in a dress with a full skirt and corsage, decorated like a tuxedo, from designer Christian Siriano.
The artist’s outfit seemed to many shocking, overthrowing the foundations and even politically and socially biased. They say that the trend of gender neutrality, the blurring of gender differences and the like free-thinking are moving forward.
However, in late June, Porter stylist Sam Ratel said in an interview with GQ that there was no provocation in this, because Jesus Christ himself walked in a dress  . Lenta.ru checked Ratel’s truthfulness statement, figured out the question and found out that men wore clothes similar to dresses and skirts thousands of years ago without prejudice to their manhood – rather the opposite.
From Egypt to Rome
If you look at the archaeological reconstruction of clothing of the first representatives of homo sapiens, it becomes clear that even having mastered the ability to sew animal skins, our ancestors did not immediately come to the idea of ​​modern pants. For a long time, the clothes of men, as well as the clothes of women, represented something like a skirt-like drapery on a belt and capes of skins on their shoulders. In hot countries, instead of skins in the course were skirts made of grass or leaves – in fact, something similar can be seen today in the traditional tribes of Africa or Oceania.
Later, having learned how to craft first coarse and then thin fabrics, the farmers, starting with the ancient Egyptians, which can be easily identified by frescoes in the tombs, wore the same “skirts” -drapings. Perhaps the only difference between women’s and men’s dresses was their length. Men had to work a lot physically and also fight, so their clothes were naturally shorter than women’s. At the same time, there was no moral, nor even regulatory, ban on exposing male legs (as opposed to female ones).
It can be said that the pants appeared as a kind of response to the differences in lifestyle between sedentary farmers and nomadic pastoralists. Herders had to spend a lot of time in the saddle, and this is much more convenient to do in pants. This will confirm anyone who tried to ride (and especially – in a primitive saddle or even without one) in a short skirt on a naked body. Those who have not tried, it is better not to try: the skin on the inner side of the thighs, knees and legs will certainly be seriously injured.
Warriors of ancient Greece also wore short tunics intercepted by a belt. Generally speaking, it was in the ancient world that there was a section between the carriers of pants and conditional “skirts” not only by the factor of agricultural practice, but also by the region of residence and according to the climate. The “Northern Barbarians” – residents of Western, Central and Eastern Europe – were mostly tillers, but the strong cold and deep snow in the winter at some point forced them to wear trousers that made the enlightened southerners rather laugh. One of the ancient Roman historians tried on barbarian pants and was forced to admit that “for a rider such clothes, though funny, but comfortable.”
But the blessed Mediterranean climate favored skirts and their likeness. In ancient Rome, warriors wore short tunics, on top of which another “skirt” of leather strips was worn with metal plates sewn on them, which protected them from sword strikes. The official attire of the ruling Roman layer, patricians and senators, – the toga – rather resembled not a skirt, but a long dress on the floor of expensive fabric with a symbolic red border. She resembled partly Indian sari attire: in both cases, the long, free end of the drapery was thrown over her shoulder.
Highlanders in skirts
The same principle draperies used for their attire – kilt – quite courageous Scottish highlanders. It is possible that they adopted this style from the Romans who tried to conquer their land. On the other hand, it cannot be excluded that the pragmatic rule of convenience has trivially worked out. Linguists derive the word “kilt” from Old Norse kjilt (“folded”) – this is the third version of the origin of the “Scottish skirt.” An additional argument in favor of the masculinity of the “killer carriers” is the fact that the kilt was worn with gaiters, for which the knife was laid, as those who wore the boots laid it in their boots. This is how the knife was worn when they came in peace: the weapon was visible, which excluded perfidious intentions.
What was a kilt in antiquity, with all certainty can not be said, but his main idea was probably close to the current one: it is a long piece of woolen (in the old homespun) fabric from multicolored pre-colored threads – tartan, which was wrapped around the waist. The so-called “Big Kilt” (in the local dialect Breacan Feile) was several meters long: there was enough cloth to roll the waist and cover the shoulders. “Small kilt”, actually “skirt”, was already shorter. All this was fastened with straps, buckles, and a belt bag-sporran from leather with a metal decor was hung in front.
In the 17th century, the Englishman described the Scottish kilt as men’s clothing for himself: “He doesn’t hold back the movements and allows the person familiar to him to easily overcome the hike: long and fast crossings, harsh weather, crossings over fast rivers. In kilt it is convenient both in the forest and at home. It will fit where ordinary clothing does not fit. ” There are historical legends that in especially hot (in all senses) battles the Scottish highlanders threw off their kilts and fought in their shirts alone. Such a story, in particular, is told about the Battle of Kilsite in August 1645, when the Scots and the Irish of the Marquis of Montrose fought against the British forces William Bailey twice, surpassed the kilts and won in hand-to-hand fighting.
Greeks, Arabs and Burmese
Arabs and other male inhabitants of Asia Minor also walked and still walk in long-sex shirts – jellabs (hooded robes), kamizas (upper shirts), and also draped robes of white fabric – ihrams (they are worn only during the Hajj – pilgrimage to Mecca). Such robes, however, in combination with pants, were adopted in the Ottoman Empire: it suffices to recall the traditional dance of the “dancing dervishes” in white robes.
Similar “skirts” are now being worn by representatives of the people, for centuries subordinated to the Turks, – the Novogreks. This clothing is called “fustanella” and was adopted not only by the Greeks, but also by other Balkan peoples, but now it is known precisely because after the liberation of Greece it became part of the ceremonial form of Evzon guards. The fluffy skirt has a symbolic meaning: the white color signifies the purity of the warrior’s intentions, 400 stripes are stitched — the number of years of Ottoman rule, eventually overthrown. On the skirt takes a length of fabric about 30 meters.
Skirts are worn in Southeast Asia. There, this garment, as a rule, is sewn from lightweight printed cotton, which is well breathable, which is very important in the heat. In Burmese, the population of present-day Myanmar, men and women wear similar skirts, called pasou (or easter). The female is piled on the side, like a sarong, the male is knotted at the waist in front. The Burmese, if necessary, intercept the paso hem between the legs and fasten it at the waist, turning the skirt into improvised pants.
Local customs were used by Christian missionaries. During the colonization of Fiji, the priests who arrived from the islands of the archipelago of Tonga ordered their converts to wear decency for the sake of special skirts, called sulu. Sulu was originally worn by Christians, now it is part of school, military and bureaucratic uniforms. The length varies from the middle of the leg to the ankles.
Heat and fashion
At the same time, in the traditional Christian world from the early Middle Ages and throughout almost the entire past millennium, dressing up in an unusual gender clothing was generally not welcomed. For women, it was at times considered a sin, punishable by death, and at times, simply a sin requiring strict repentance. For example, it was dressing up in men’s pants and armor that was among the accusations of Joan of Arc at the process that ended with her execution. Travesty games were allowed only on Christmas carnivals, whose roots go back to paganism. Characteristically, Christian priests (both Catholic and Orthodox) at the same time wear robes, resembling dresses. Catholics belt them, sometimes the Orthodox do. From this traditional dress, its form goes back to the clothes that were worn in New Testament times in Palestine,
Nevertheless, deliberate disguise of men by women (excluding cases of life saving or spy service), like dressing women by men, was considered sinful and wrong. As a rule, actors, comedians and buffoons, who had not even been buried in the church fence for a long time as avid sinners, dressed in women’s clothes with comic purpose.
Later mores softened and applied to the actors as well. And in the XIX and especially in the XX century there were a lot of travesty comedies – both theatrical performances and films like “Some like it hotter” (in our box office – “There are only girls in jazz”). But in general, among Europeans and North Americans, wearing a dress or skirt was not accepted – except for the already mentioned kilt, which in special cases even the heir to the British throne is wearing Prince Charles and his sons, Princes William and Henry.
It can be said that the trend towards metrosexuality and men’s self-irony have returned to a relatively everyday use in Europe and America. For example, in 2013, the Swedish machinists, fleeing from the summer heat that was unusual for their country, turned to leadership asking to allow shorts to be worn. The Directorate refused, citing regulatory work rules, where the ban on wearing shorts was registered. Witty and resourceful Swedes came to work in skirts: the skirt rules could not be forbidden so as not to infringe the rights of women. Employees of other European companies did likewise – the Dutchman Pim Steenbergen recently did this. As a rule, their actions acted on the leadership enlighteningly: it immediately softened the rules. And indeed, what is a dress code rule in a democracy? discriminating in one direction or another on the basis of gender? Women were allowed trousers, so why men forbid skirts?
In the modern world, homophobia, with which European men’s contempt for women’s clothes on men, is usually considered a bad form, and you can wear a skirt as a joke, for example, or wanting to attract the attention of street photographers. Metrosexual is not necessarily homosexual, and why not demonstrate to the public beautiful male legs on a hot day? This opportunity is used by fashionistas posing for street photographers at fashion weeks or at fashion shows like the Pitti Uomo in Florence.
The forerunner of the “skirt” trend in the men’s fashion was in the late 1970s stylist Ray Petri. Behind him, skirts appeared on the catwalks of shows of men’s collections of British rebel Vivienne Westwood (by the way she loves tartan and in women’s collections), Japanese deconstructivists Yoji Yamamoto and Rhea Kavakubo, from extravagant Jean-Paul Gautier and  John Galliano . American fashion designer Marc Jacobs often went and walks in skirts of different styles (by the way, he is openly gay, but that’s not the point: he just likes skirts). The famous Briton Alexander McQueen came in a kilt to the ball of the Metropolitan Museum of Costume Institute MET Gala.
A men’s skirt also appears on the scene: the brutal rapper Kanye West chose a leather model, Jared Leto  – almost a classic version in combination with trousers. But men are no longer ordered dresses than cooler than Billy Porter’s dress. However, in our multi-gender world is still ahead.

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