December 14, 2022
Notes on 2022: The jockstrap and fashion's embrace of the bottom
Written by BJ Panda Bear
Finally, fashion has started to appreciate butts in the same way faggots always have. This season saw several designers include subtle nods to the classically masculine eroticism of the jockstrap in their collections. Although the jockstrap has long been a staple in queer fetish-wear, it’s origins on the runway can be traced back to Gucci’s 1997 S/S in which Tom Ford debuted the iconic male G-string on model Sascha. Alessandro Michele’s S/S 2019 show offered a new vision for the jockstrap, styling his leather studded version over trousers in a subversive effort to blend stern kink with more muted dress clothes.
Originally designed as a sports support garment, the jockstrap was quickly adopted as queer fetish attire that framed and emphasized the ass, gestured towards a jock-ish machismo, and hinted at the sly suggestion of where the night might lead. A long time staple in clubs, steam rooms, and bathhouses, it comes as no surprise that designers have been inspired by the easy, chic, and ultimately sexy garment. Now more than ever, the fashion machine has declared that 2022 is the year of the jockstrap.
But celebrating jockstraps means more than just appreciating the wonder that is a thick ass framed by two elastic bands—it also means embracing the bottoms who have long used jockstraps to show off. The long-suffering bottom has been the butt (no pun intended) of many a toxic joke, though now, in light of the current of queer representation in pop culture and media, it’s bottoms’ time to shine. This year has been a turning point for our bottoms from sissy to butch. No shade, fem top fall.
Kim Kardashian’s Interview Magazine cover
A new generation of designers has pushed the conversation forward, interrogating how gender can intersect with fashion, blurring the line between fetish and formal, and questioning what is sexy for the digital subset. Don’t get it twisted: gender fluidity and sexuality has fashion by the balls.
Let’s take a look at a few designers who have reappropriated the jockstrap into the world of haute couture.
Thom Browne SS 2023 – A masterclass in class with ass, as jockstraps were the prime focus of every outfit. The finale was perhaps most impactful, featuring a denim tweed-decorated cowboy stomping down the runway in a double layered jock with a pair of matching fringed chaps.
JW Anderson S/S 2023 - A designer who often remixes traditional gender roles in his shows, JW Anderson's looks for the upcoming season gave us arty skater boy trade and featuring a subtle throw to the label on the elastic band of jockstraps. Allowing the band of the boxers to show above the models baggy jeans reminded us of the thrill of seeing our crush’s happy trail and boxer band when he stretches his arms up, just enough for his shirt to slowly lift up from his waistband.
VTMNTS F/W 2022 – Amid cropped tops, wide shoulders, and severe trouser drops, VTMNTS gave us just a hint of sexy danger in its F/W show, allowing just a peak of jockstrap to show as the models walked the runway. The proportional play worked well, too—in broadening shoulders, and elongating the torso, the designers created a silhouette reminiscent of the classic Tom of Finland physique.
MAISON BLANCHE S/S 2023 – As indie queer designers deconstruct and rearrange the building blocks of the jockstrap to create new shapes, we’re seeing asses framed in a whole new way. In his S/S 2023 show for Maison Blanche, Yannik Zamoni showed the downtown set what their future ravewear would look like. His garments showcase the ass in all its glory, creating moments of tension using straps and restraints, pushing the jockstrap beyond the flirty and erotic and into an entirely new silhouette.