At the 88th edition of Pitti Uomo, a section called – Open was dedicated to gender-less dressing. Androgynous clothing is nothing new. Designer Marc Jacobs has been wearing kilts for years now. In 2012, the glam rock pin-up boy Hedi Slimane at Yves Saint Laurent injected gender-less vibe in clothing – be it skinny leather trousers, Cuban heels or snug-cut military jackets. Hood By Air in their fall 2015 offering showcased many gender-less pieces.
Brands such as Edithmarcel, for example: in their (C)ouverture collection, inspired by magazine covers from the 1920s, the clothing can be worn by men and women, with each creation designed in such a way as to remain unchanged in itself, intentionally depriving the body wearing it of gender-specific characteristics. The SS 2016 collection from Var/City, on the other hand, explored and mixed absolute concepts: male and female, formal and sportswear; dark and light tones; nuances and graphic features; natural and technical. Iconic garments borrow from sportswear, acetates take on a silk effect, jersey becomes denim and nylon evokes leather.
Today the line between what’s masculine and what’s feminine in fashion is thinning. At Viveinne Westwood‘s Spring Summer 2016 runway, men were wearing sheer crop tops and at Valentino and Louis Vuitton (during Paris Fashion Week) weren’t shy of wearing their souvenir jackets which had details like floral and bird prints and embellishments. Kilts, jumpsuits and tunics too are increasingly seen in menswear shows. Who are these men? Do they wear these offerings in their private lives or their profession demands the same? Androgyny has a huge history in the fashion world and the last two seasons have seen designers injecting androgyny in luxed-up sportswear and workwear. Fashion observers are debating androgyny and it’s relevance in today’s app-driven times.
Alessandro Michele at Gucci is at the forefront of this movement who showcased lace and crochet for men, floral and butterfly appliqués, and glitter sneakers that laced up the ankle like gladiator sandals. At Moschino, Jeremy Scott sent out a sheer bodysuit emitting a Baroque-meets-Formula 1 vibe. Prada‘s menswear show was styled in an ultra-feminine way with micro shorts and exaggerated sleeves. Valentino and Louis Vuitton both showcased souvenir jackets with floral prints and applique embroidery.
Ann Demeulemeester paired a sheer pink crop top with a pair of high-waist trousers, Facetasm clubbed a sporty jumper with an asymmetrical skirt, Etro sent out an all flesh pink suit which was worn with a side ponytail. During LCM (London Collections: Men) a sweatshirt was shown with a cut-out detail flashing a nipple and Topman Design showed a caped poncho with a pair of teeny tiny shorts.
If so many gender-less concoctions have been churned out seasons after seasons, clearly it shows that there are serious takers for this trend. Designers are letting their freak flags fly high and letting the gender osmosis amp up in their creative laboratories.