Flaunting sexual subversion on the runway is nothing new in the menswear game, but designer Neil Grotzinger does it in such a unique and seductive way that one can’t help but be enamored. At his Fall 2019 show in New York Men’s Fashion Week, he twisted a male American archetype into somewhat of a sexual creature: the video-gamer. It’s easy to argue that gamers are sexual beings themselves, but this new NIHL offering gives them confidence beyond the monitor and keyboard. In fact, Grotzinger gave them a sort of sensual aggression with all the leather pieces and skin-bearing cut-outs. A few button-ups, on the other hand, hands them back their adorkable edge. Some graphic spraypainted-like prints in jeans and seriously low-cut tops are the visual treatment of the weird yet interesting sexualization in gamer culture. And in this regard, Grotzinger is laying down an argument that there is masculinity (at times, even toxic) in what is perceived to be the passive and less masculine practice of playing video games. Such is the subversiveness of NIHL collections, and this season proves to be one of the most intense in the lot!
Photo: Lena Shkoda / Courtesy of NIHL