When did ‘penis fashion’ become a real thing?

Warning, this is so, so NSFW.

Warning, this is so, so NSFW.

Men’s fashion week is a funny old place, where Del Boy is a style icon, Law and Order has been mined for references, and now penis fashion has been declared a legitimate trend.

Yep, at his spring 2017 menswear show in Milan, designer Raf Simons found a photograph of an erect penis and made the bold statement of putting it on a jacket. The news clip doing the rounds on the internet, naturally, is ‘Raf Simons made a jacket with a boner on it’. But look a little closer (not so much that anything would poke you in the eye, of course) and you’ll find that this punchy fashion moment was supposed to be so much more than an internet LOL.

Raf, rumoured to be joining Calvin Klein imminently after leaving Dior last year, was citing the work of the late photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, whose portraits and close-ups of naked people the most famous and celebrated in his, ahem, body of work. But on a jacket, it becomes a jarring, nay pointy statement, right?

Between the two artists involved here, there’s enough integrity to pull it off – Raf’s not someone who’s likely to design something just for a publicity stunt and he certainly doesn’t need our validation to cement his status and career.

But isn’t it interesting that we don’t bat an eyelid to a stray boob on the runway, yet ‘penis fashion’ causes such a polarizing reaction?


Of course there have been a fair few similar incidents on the catwalk in the past. Fellow Belgian designer Walter van Beirendonck first launched his photo print penis T-shirts back in 1998, the never-knowingly-understated Tom Ford designed penis necklaces in 2014, and lest we forget Rick Owens’ exposing peep-hole tunics from 2015 (above)– perhaps the ideal top to team your new jacket with, lads?

This said, when FKA Twigs wore Christopher Kane’s body-part lace dress at the MET Ball last year, its graphic outlines swirling down her thigh, we declared it a hit. Perhaps, for many, the beauty of this ‘trend’ is in the eye of the beholder, it’s all subjective, shall we say?

So as many menswear magazines hail the penis fashion revolution, we’d like guys to just keep this in mind; If you want to buy the jacket, buy the jacket. But stay away from certain places (you will know which ones), frightened elderly people and job interviews, ok?

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