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Zzzz is the new black: How boring got interesting in the world of men’s fashion

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What was interesting for spring/summer 2015? Not very much.

I wondered, however, if that was, in itself, interesting. Watching Miuccia Prada’s show of resolutely boring clothes – clothes she dubbed ‘Prada Classics’, the capitalisation her own – you got the feeling she was making a point, by eschewing complex design for something almost simple-minded. The only decoration this season was stitching – it looked straight-forward but, developed from the sewing techniques used on Prada handbags, it was convoluted to realise. The end results sit halfway between decorative embroidery and the flat-felled seams that delineate the outline of the classic jean. Those are, primarily, functional. They hold the garment together firmer than most, harking back to denim’s humble workwear origins. Today, they also serve a decorative purpose. Form following function.

Of course, Miuccia Prada’s boring was brilliant. She intended to bore us, unlike so many fashion designers who just do. Plenty of them created clothes that merely seemed bland: slack workaday suiting, nondescript shirting, old ideas recycled. The fashion terminology is ‘basic’. They are.

Boring … but looking good on it

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