New fashion trend: Men in skirts -- Axl Rose and Flea have rocked the feminine frock, and now designers have followed suit

By Michael Musto
Updated May 07, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

New fashion trend: Men in skirts

This fashion season there’s a brand-new response to the comment, ”Wow, that model looks great in that skirt,” and it’s, ”He certainly does!” Guys are baring their gams all of a sudden, and while it could be construed as a hairy situation by some, knobby knees have never looked so good.

The phenomenon really took off once he-man hard-rocker Axl Rose began sporting kilts in plaid and pleated leather on Guns N’ Roses tours. Since every musical trend, from hip-hop to grunge, has been processed by Seventh Avenue, designers fell in line and started lifting men’s skirts too. For their spring and fall ’93 shows, Betsey Johnson, Matsuda, and Donna Karan all draped their male models in everything from kicky plaid jumpers to more refined wraparounds. Jean Paul Gaultier not only put Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea into a maxi for an AIDS benefit fashion show last September but he’s a knockout in a kilt himself.

Although designers briefly flirted with men in dresses in the early ’80s, the idea never exactly caught on. But in 1993, the time may be ripe for such playful outrage. In the last year, drag seems to have swum fully into the mainstream in music, movies, and fashion. Gender roles have become so mixed up that now the world is embracing the alternative-rocker pose — the one that says, ”I’m so macho that I can wear a skirt and still be totally secure, can’t I?” Sure, fella, but you’ve got a run in your hose.