This Lockdown, Be This Man

Murray Clark
·3-min read
Photo credit: VCG
Photo credit: VCG

From Esquire

Back in 2009, The Road was the cinematic equivalent of working as the euthanasia technician at a suburban vets. For in its greyscale world of cannibals and the abandoned kids they want to feed upon, the adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's astonishing post-apocalyptic novel stacked sadness upon sadness in a world utterly bereft of hope. So a bit like this one! Happy Monday etc.

But where McCarthy rightly predicted the general despair of a miserable planet, he also played trend forecaster, because, at what seems like the season finale of Humanity: The Series, we're looking a lot like the sorry folk of The Road (but just with access to running water). Reader: it looks pretty good from here too.

Photo credit: VCG
Photo credit: VCG

Take Huang Xiaoming. The Chinese actor/singer/model was seen in Shanghai's Pudong Airport dressed for the apocalypse by taking Raf Simons-esque knitwear on The Road. The cable knit jumper, coloured in the most alarmist shade of GET OUT WHILE YOU STILL CAN, came with a frayed hem that nodded to the whole luxury ragamuffin thing menswear has done for quite some time. For the intellectuals, Yohji Yamamoto has long mashed-up knits in his ongoing, shapely rework of haunted Victorian children, while Amiri, the hypey, filthy LA label that outfits both rappers and Premier Leaguers, shreds sweats and denim on the reg. There's end days menswear for everybody!

And what would the apocalypse be without a touch of gorpcore? The knit sat under a big Michelin Man puffer jacket in a similar shade (it's also the traditional colour of the current Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations), which, handily, has become the perfect balm for a lockdown made all the more depressing by token of the February freeze. You want to be practical but comfortable all at once, and few pieces can tick both boxes as well as a puffer jacket. What's more, it's not something that's going to fall off anytime soon. Gucci's latest collab with The North Face has reignited a fire under Duke of Edinburgh-on-LSD outdoorswear, and Xiaoming's turn in a bright pop of red is as punchy as you can get while playing it safe. Probably not as good for hiding from marauding cannibals in the wastelands formerly known as Dulwich, but sacrifices must be made.

Lest we forget big baggy trousers too. As wider legs become less of a statement and more a standard part of menswear, Xiaoming errs on the side of a 'Rollin' era Fred Durst. Which isn't for everyone, but it is within the remit of what's admissible as labels like Jacquemus, Gucci and Casablanca all go big on the trouser fit.

That said, sticking to your normal denim isn't the end of the world. It sure feels like it at the minute though. So hit The Road, and dress as appropriate in a mash-up of nuclear survivor and grail seeker proper. It's not all bad news!

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