GQ Style: Poseidon

The god of the sea rises. He is mortal.

'Poseidon', GQ Style 6 Spring Summer 2008
Photography by Nathaniel Goldberg. Styling by David Bradshaw
Model: Patrick Petitjean at Success

For quite some time now, androgyny has been the new plaything of menswear. Though much of it has drawn inspiration from 80s Japanese designers, a significant force that drives "androgyny" are simply cross-dressers.

Cotton t-shirt, Gap Red; bead necklace, stylist's own

On the other side of the coin is raw masculinity.

Print shirt, print shorts, sandals: all Gucci

So strong that it can be expressed even with shin-length kaftans (of course, not to exclude skirts!).

Silk kaftan, Lanvin; plaited leather cuff, Burberry

But this attribute, I'm afraid, cannot simply be worn or assimilated.

Nylon shorts, Raf Simons; glass bead necklace, Pebble

You simply have it - like igneous, which has no layers - or you don't.

Towelling top, Bottega Veneta; swimming trunks, American Apparel

This kind of appeal is its own skin - evident from a man, whether he has a three-piece suit or just swimming briefs.

Vogue Italia editor Franca Sozzani once stated, on the topic of dressing men and as part of the reason she wanted to take over L'Uomo Vogue: "...we had seen too much of the intimacy of men. Men had been stripped down too much!"

This may be true, and many men may still smart from the embarrassment of such exposure.

T-shirt, top (worn on head): both Rick Owens; paisley swimming briefs, Etro; plaited leather cuff, Burberry

But beauty will always have its own dignity, male or female, no matter who the perceived audience, and no matter how many layers of clothing expose or conceal it.

Hand-dyed kaftan, Tween

Stripping down, covering up: they are part of the motions of the seasons.

Vest, black swimming briefs, printed swimming briefs (worn beneath): all Dolce & Gabbana; top (worn on head), Rick Owens; sandals, Balenciaga; plaited leather cuff, Burberry

Masculinity can stand on its own, stays the same covered with leaves and fruit, or simply bare.

Swimming trunks, American Apparel; goggles (on trunks), from a selection, Thom Browne

Strong, because behind it is identity that bears its own confidence, can do without necklaces and headpieces.

Jersey top, Rick Owens

Or whatever accouterments meant merely to be worn, not grafted like second skin.

Wrestling leotard, from a selection, Calvin Klein; top (worn on head), Rick Owens; leather sandals, Balenciaga; leather cuff, Hugo Boss