Although the trend has been floating in air, interpreted here and there by a brave few, the strong shoulder has hit mainstream awareness. It could be said that it’s Christophe Decarnin for Balmain who single handedly brought this about, giving the style the sexed up glamour needed to for mass dissemination. With such tastemakers like Carine Roitfeld and Kate Moss sporting the clothes it made its way to the true trendsetters, the pop stars, with Beyonce and Rihanna inspiring a legion of women who aspire to be them.
So as it becomes a natural part of women’s dress it’s only then a matter of time before it enters menswear. The jump is a natural one; the newness of the exaggerated shoulder is not so new for menswear, where a strong shoulder has always been a component of masculine identity- of course with varying degrees of proportion and popularity over the years. Certainly the narrow and sloped shoulders of Hedi Slimane’s days at Dior Homme are gone. The shoulder’s total manifestation with the boys has yet to be seen.
Raf Simons, Gianfranco Ferre, and Ute Ploier, fall 2009