Either Steve Erkel’s legend presided over the proceedings of the spring shows in New York or tis the season to be suspended since braces were out in full force. Notwithstanding Larry King’s hoary relationship with braces, the philia being shown towards suspenders is unprecedented. Then again, Rag & Bone were up to bat on day one of the week’s festivities so the penchant for braces could very well have stemmed from the seventies, skinhead feel of the British duos SS09 collection. All the same, it’s quite evident that suspenders haven’t gotten this much play in decades so, for some, the return to sartorial tradition is more so a trek into new frontiers.
Over the course of the SS09 shows, suspenders popped up on two Rag & Bone looks and the ever so keen eye of The Sartorialist spotted them on some chaps moseying about New York.
The fetish continued well into the fall 2009 shows as Chloё Sevigny for Opening Ceremony collection featured the two pronged accessory amidst an androgynous élan.
However, particular reference is made to Rag & Bone for the British designer’s tongue-in-cheek assault on the propriety of brace wearing. Staying true to the collection’s punkish ethos, the Rag & Bone pair communicated the rebellion of this subculture through the somewhat atypical use of braces. In point, braces are hardly worn with belts; the pairing is seen as rather illogical. Yet Rag & Bone boldly juxtaposed the two in a cohesive nod to the mod culture; although, the duo did make amends a few looks later as the suspender was duly worn sans belt.
At this rate, suspenders are destined to become the next essential wardrobe item for gents. If this is the case, then striking a chord of individuality is a must. Getting creative with colour, width, or the use of various fasteners (clip or buttons) is a good start. Nevertheless, a plucky character could very well embark on the road Rag & Bone took and challenge a fashion faux pas. However, the mod look can at times feel rather tried and tested. Owing to the virtual decline of bona-fide legions of the culture, you would be hard-pressed to locate a true mod who would escape raised eyebrows to a belt and suspender pairing. Thus, I would opt for the latter assortments of aesthetic differences (i.e., color, width), but applying them in an ingenuous way akin to this Parisian gentleman who enlisted measuring tape for suspenders! A case in point, of how far a little creativity can take you.