The existence of the word 'metrosexual' in common parlance pays tribute to the sway the media has exerted on male fashion; it has even been translated into Japanese, 'meterosekusyalu,' for the trendy Asian market. The media initially played a formative role in normalising the trait of being a fashion orientated man and has, subsequently, adopted the task of relating the latest fads and designs to this demographic.
The fact that male fashion journalism has now become a respected subject area, further emphasises this role. It is a subject that is now taken so seriously that a recent edition of GQ Magazine interviewed the Government Minister for Culture, Commerce and the Creative Industries, Ed Vaizey, for his opinion on male dress. With eminent reporters such as Alex Petridis of the Guardian addressing the subject, the world of men's fashion has been transformed into common cultural currency by the media.
Moreover, the media treatment of this subject is increasingly emulating the way in which women's fashion is discussed. For some time, weekly and monthly female-targeted magazines have scrutinised, criticised and applauded the attire of well-known women, a journalistic style that is now being directed at male celebrities. The result has been a plethora of copycat award ceremonies, now directed at men, for fashion triumphs and fashion disasters. These events are sponsored by media institutions such as Esquire and GQ, and have helped foster the inference among men that their attire is central to their very character. Recent stars recognised for their fashion savvy are Dr Who, Matt Smith and Mad Men's John Hamm. For the more advanced in years, the models to emulate are Patrick Dempsey, Hugh Jackman and Viggo Mortensen.
The technological changes in how we access media have also had a massive impact on male fashion. Since men are notoriously shy of revealing their interest in clothes, the web has become the tool du jour for them to find out what is hot, and what is not. It is easy to Google the latest looks from the privacy of your own home, or to check whether a skinny tie is hip or so last season. With the broadsheets expending column inches on the attire of serious public figures such as Cameron, David Milliband and President Obama, then all men with aspirations for power, know that to overlook the importance of their personal appearance would be a grave mistake.