Richard Armitage fashion forward for London summer 2014?
We’ve known for some time that Ilaria Urbinati is dressing Richard Armitage (and doing extremely well at it most of the time, in my opinion). She’s U.S.-based and may pay more attention to New York City and Los Angeles than London. But I had to laugh when thinking of Richard Armitage in light of this report last week about the London catwalk shows for casual spring / summer 2014 menswear.
I know I’ve given Mr. Armitage a fair amount of crap in the past for his fashion choices, but slowly, I think he may be catching up or even pulling into the fashion lead.
Admittedly, this wasn’t my first impression on reading the piece. “Leading the way,” the article said, was unisex fashion, especially a halter top for men by JW Anderson. Could you see this on Richard Armitage?
Mr. Armitage definitely has the shoulders, though his biceps and triceps might interfere with the delicate look of the piece.
Richard Armitage as Guy of Gisborne in Robin Hood 2.3. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com
But would a silky halter top really prevent chafing from armor? In honor of that outfit, I think we’d have to ask a new question: WGWT? or “Would Guy wear this?”
[And yes, although it's not the explicit theme of the article, that picture and other information in it suggest we're headed back in the direction of the full break trouser, which is really not Armitage's best look.]
Second big insight from the article: the denim jacket is back! According to the author: “The item proved irresistible to Sarah Burton at Alexander McQueen, despite an Edwardian theme, and there were a few dotted along the front row. This is a sure sign that it is a trend that has legs (or should that be arms?) but buy carefully. The way to make this classic high fashion is all about the silhouette. Your denim jacket next spring should be boxy. Anything else is ordinary.”
Servetus is excited! Shades of high school and getting kissed with her rear pressed up against the still-warm hood of a late 1960s/70s car! But she doesn’t think this jacket quite qualifies as boxy, even if comes with such a sweet look (and /or a ring).
But even if Armitage’s behind, the fact that he’s wearing that jacket means that it’s definitely not ordinary.
As the article continued, though, I realized that, a few blind spots aside, Richard Armitage is truly a fashion forerunner. Fourth insight from the article: Army surplus is back! This is something Servetus can get really thrilled about. Especially woodland camo BDUs (sorry, I know they’re not called BDUs anymore; but that’s what they were called when I was in college and the ROTC guys wore them almost every Thursday). I’d love to see more of this.
Richard Armitage as John Porter in Strike Back 1.1. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com
Oh, wait. I guess it doesn’t count as Army surplus if you’re in the Army when you’re wearing it …
Moving on, the article notes, “Rag & Bone’s collection brought back the combat trouser.” I’m sorry, unknown fashion reporter, you’re wrong about that. It was John Porter who brought back the combat trouser — for Spring / Summer 2010.
Richard Armitage as John Porter in a promotional image for Strike Back. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com
Aside from holding a gun, that thigh holster thingie assures that the combat trouser never goes away from Porter’s body or our minds. Except in naughty fanfiction.
Fifth insight from the article — skinny jeans are out: “Almost every look at Topman Design featured wide-legged, high-waisted shapes …. It’s perhaps a hard sell straight off the catwalk, but the new shape does suggest that trousers so tight they constrict circulation are a thing of the past. And that’s something we can all smile about.”
What all of “us” are you talking about?
Richard Armitage plays foozball with Jamie Edwards, March 2013. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com. One of my favorite skinny jeans pictures. One of many.
Speak for yourself, random fashion reporter! But, in fact, we’ve already seen Armitage this spring in a straight-leg jean.
Dan Voss and Richard Armitage, Sydney, May 1, 2013. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com
Tip, Mr. Armitage — J Brand, who made those jeans — congratulations on a stylish, affordable jeans choice, by the way, under $200 US retail for most styles — also makes a boxy cut denim jacket. Time to consider broadening the horizons of your leather and wool outerwear?
It’s good to know that at times, Richard Armitage is already on or ahead of trend. As with his accessories. The reporter writes that strong accessories are the entry point to the best catwalk look, noting, “[i]t’s all in the detail – a contrasting sole is a great way to jazz up a desert boot next season.”
I should have written a post this spring called “Richard Armitage and the contrasting sole. Instead, I now give you –
Exhibit A: the sneakers from Tokyo …
Exhibit B: Converse sneaks from Fall 2012 …
and, Exhibit C: the Hugo Boss boot from Sydney. All with contrasting soles!
But I am slightly concerned about this other choice. Does this count as a contrasting sole?
I guess we’ll have to look more closely for the bottoms of Thorin’s feet when the movie comes out. Such a chore!
Well, no matter. Fashion moves ever onward, and Richard Armitage is always on the cutting edge of shoe style. We have lots to look forward to here, if the trend continues, as the article states, “Tom Ford, that master of precision, had slippers and short trousers to show off the ultimate accessory – the manankle.”
Preview of coming attractions? Claude Monet’s ankle (played by Richard Armitage’s ankle) in episode 1 of The Impressionists. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com
Indeed, Mr. Armitage has known about sandals and leg-baring footwear since the beginning of his career, even if he hasn’t always been able to show as much ankle as he might have liked.
Richard Armitage as Epiphanes in Cleopatra. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com
Finally, the article turned to high street fashion (“high street”=”main street” for U.S. readers — that’s stuff available in the big retail stores at affordable prices), and here, too, Richard Armitage has turned out to be a forerunner. The article says, “high-street shops, where most men actually spend money, were also in fine voice. Marks & Spencer debuted its high-end Best of British range for autumn. With Prince of Wales, pinstripe and dog’s tooth tailoring, there’s a slick tweed Barbour-style jacket that should be on the wishlist of all discerning men come September.”
Like a zombie, I of course clicked on the M&S link to see what qualifies as “best of British” for the mass market male consumer in England. Remember, the goal of this style is getting a £4,000 suit for £800, which means not only more affordable styling features (all machine producible) but also different, more affordable fabrics and so on. But what did I find here?
First, an emphasis on fabric patterns from the M&S archives (I love that a retailer has a fashion archive!) that look traditionally British:
Which is a sort of double-breasted echo of this, but maintains the similar fabric pattern and the retro peaked collar:
Richard Armitage, NYC premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, December 6, 2012. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com
M&S also wants to bring back the British brown shoe — which Armitage had on in a half-boot version with that suit, not that I was enlarging pictures to look or anything.
And, again in the shoe department, M&S is featuring the two-tone wingtip with contrasting top-stitching.
A gaudier or ironic version of something Armitage wore two years ago, already!
Richard Armitage, NYC premiere of Captain America: The First Avenger, July 20, 2011. Source: RichardArmitageNet.com
That Armitage, he really is a master of shoe style.
Finally — the most cheering thing about its coverage of high street fashion was the article’s statement about male facial hair, which they illustrated with the photo below.
The author writes, ” John Lewis’s presentation on Saturday was slick and included models with beards (very now).”
Oh, yes. Beards are very now. Especially when I can dream about them grazing my face.
Richard Armitage did note his belief that beards would come into style after the premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – though his prediction about beards for women has remained so far unfulfilled. But don’t you think that the long hair and beard above, sported by the John Lewis model for high street fashion, is simply a trickle down for the mass market of the amazing success of this much more impressive, high fashion beard?
Unavoidable conclusion: it’s not just the shoes, it’s not just the suits — it’s the beard, as well! Richard Armitage has now become a fashion forerunner, a man to watch!
I don’t think he has any summer 2014 red carpet appearances planned, but what might he be wearing for that special occasion in the off season, assuming he’s in the northern hemisphere again?
Richard Armitage: fashion plate.
Especially the point about the beard is so gratifying.