One of the more surprising trends to emerge from the Men’s Spring-Summer 2012 runway shows that just ended in Paris: skirts. Long, short, narrow, baggy, pleated, fringed — they came in all shapes and styles. Most seemed like a provocation or statement. Riccardo Tisci’s boxy skirts at Givenchy were printed with vaguely vaginal close-ups of bird-of-paradise flowers that made one think of Georgia O’Keeffe. Rei Kawakubo’s calf-length dresses at Comme des Garcons were a shocking Pepto-Bismol pink. Rick Owens’ hobble skirts were dour and monk-like — and looked like they would be very difficult to walk in.
Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto’s versions, however, were so appealing they could actually pose a threat to slacks’ dominance in menswear. The diverse cast of models — from beefy, bearded blokes to fresh-faced youth to small, wise-looking elders — looked supremely confident and comfortable in their baggy, samurai skirts and wide, pleated culottes that looked like skirts.