In 2017, not only is office attire a thing of the past—with what started as a casual Friday and ended with athleisure—but also the need for employees to come to the office at all. For most jobs involving computers, all you need are ten fingers, (maybe less), and a laptop to get your work done remotely from any location in the world. And with the invention of messaging services like Skype and Slack, we can be present 24-7, without actually being physically present.
As office life adapts for the modern era, so too does fashion. Men's wear in particular has seen enormous shifts in the past few years, as more and more working men abandon the classic suit for more comfortable and practical alternatives. The poster child for this being Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, with his now-signature Silicon Valley jeans and black hoodie. And in the fashion world, look no further than Pitti Uomo, the annual men's wear trade show in Florence, Itlay where three-piece suits used to be the uniform. This year, however, the streetwear vanguard Virgil Abloh was invited to be the guest designer.
Perhaps the clearest example of this office attire evolution happened at the Milan Fashion Week spring 2018 shows, which just wrapped. Fendi showed what designer Silvia Venturini Fendi described to The New York Times as a "Skype Look," adding, "it's only from the waist up."
Inspired by Christian Bale's character in American Psycho, the infamous Patrick Bateman, as well as Andy Warhol's self-portrait in which he wears a button-up and tie while also dressed in drag, the Spring 2018 collection as a whole felt like something in-between your grandfather's office looks and his retirement wardrobe. Details included suspenders, pinstripes, argyle sweaters, tie clips, and Boca Raton polos, as well as illustrations by “Big” Sue Tilley, the once muse of Lucian Freud, who drew classic pieces of office technology like a rotary phone and desk lamp.
But the modern, "Skype look" twist came in the form of looks like the above, which appear office-appropriate up top, with a button-up and tie, yet casual on the bottom, with mis-matched short shorts—perfect for a meeting via video chat from the comfort of one's summer home.
“Masculine executives used to be very rigid, in a box," Fendi told Vogue __of her corporate redux collection. "But now it is different . . . "
In other words, every day is a summer Friday for the Fendi man, as long as he has Skype.