Explore the history of men’s fashion from the 18th Century to the present

It’s Reigning Men at the Powerhouse Museum.

By Natasha Lee 30/04/2018

Fashion has a history of repeating itself. For proof, sceptics need only to take a tour of the Powerhouse Museum’s Reining Men exhibit.

The exhibit, which will open its doors to the public on May 2, will explore the rich history of men’s fashion dating back to 1715 and coming full circle to 2015.

Over 130 garments by renowned menswear designers including Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, Jean Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent will feature at the exhibit.


L-R: Macaroni Ensemble Suit, Italy, probably Venice, c 1770, Los Angeles County Museum of Art / David McDiarmid Men’s ensemble comprising jacket, trousers and hat, c. 1980. Photo: Los Angeles County Museum of Art / MAAS

The stunning collection will take guests on a journey of menswear spanning 300 years and aims to make illuminating connections between history and high fashion.

With most of the piecing coming the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s renowned collection, the exhibit will trace cultural influences over the centuries and examine how elements of the male uniform has shaped modern day fashion.

Interestingly, it will also illuminate to guests how the act of cinching and padding in fashion was not, and is still not, exclusive to women’s wear.


Dan Single, George Gorrow and Gareth Moody, tsubi Men’s outfit comprising jacket, shoes, T-shirt, jeans, sleeves and vest. Photo: MAAS

Beginning with the 18th century, the male aristocrat wore a three-piece suit conspicuous in make and style, and equally as lavish as the opulent dress of his female counterpart.

The 19th-century “dandy” made famous a more refined brand of expensive elegance which became the hallmark of Savile Row, London’s celebrated street of bespoke tailors. The mid-twentieth-century “mod” relished in the colorful and modern styles of Carnaby Street, and the 21st century man – in an ultra-chic “skinny suit” by day and a flowered tuxedo by night – redefines today’s concept of masculinity.

For more information and to book tickets to the exhibit visit www.maas.museum/powerhouse-museum

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