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LCFMasterclass asks: Why don’t men wear high heels?

Written by David Revagliatte
Published date 13 June 2013

Host George Lamb
Work from MA Fashion Footwear alumnus Leonard Kahlcke
Work from MA Fashion Design Technology Menswear alumna Na Di
SS14 from Menswear alumni Baartmans and Siegel
Work from MA Fashion Artefact alumna Sarah Williams
Work from MA Fashion Artefact alumnus Oliver Ruuger
The panel - L-R Robert Tateossian, Rhyannon Styles, Prof. Frances Corner, Terry de Havilland, Host George Lamb, Jonathan Heaf, AA Gill, Max Rogers, Shaun Cole, Frank Strachan and Richard Young.
Panelists Jonathan Heaf, George Lamb and Max Rogers
George Lamb and Prof. Frances Corner

LCF’s inaugural masterclass debate took place at The Hospital Club yesterday evening. Hosted by George Lamb, an expert panel including shoe designer Terry de Havilland, writer AA Gill, GQ’s Jonathan Heaf, performance artist Rhyannon Styles and LCF’s Prof. Frances Corner discussed the notion of men wearing high heels. Audience members and panelists were also treated to an exhibition featuring talented LCF menswear alumni, providing ample opportunity for networking.

The debate kick started with a relatively straightforward proposition – should, could, would men wear high heels? Terry was first to have his say: “Yes to all of it! They should because they can, and they do”. This statement led us neatly into a fun, interactive discussion with panelists, audience members and followers of the debate on twitter joining in and voicing their opinions.

Topics covered in the debate ranged from the impact of celebrity endorsement to the modern metrosexual man and the meaning of experimentation. “There is a sense of conservatism in menswear,” noted AA Gill, adding that mens’ fashion is centered upon the Saville Row suit and Pocket Square. Shaun Cole, Course Director of MA History and Culture of Fashion and MA Fashion Curation, disagreed. “Nowadays it’s acceptable to have a bigger wardrobe with a broader variety of styles”.

LCF’s alumni, whilst commercially aware, are leading the way for variety and experimentation. Domingo Rodriguez, whose work was on display at the exhibition, looks at creating ‘body conscious’ designs for men – a term we usually associate with womens’ dresses. Whilst Jonathan Heaf thought that men feel the need to assert their masculinity nowadays, Prof. Frances Corner argued that there is a younger market pushing the boundaries of masculine fashion. “The homogenous approach to what men wear is being broken down,” she asserted.

With LC:M around the corner, all eyes will be on the latest young designers. “Designers have more guts in London,” Terry said. “I’m certainly looking forward to seeing what surprises menswear has up its sleeve this year.”

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