The Blurring Gender Line of the Fashion Industry

For quite some times now, at least in the western world, menswear is menswear, womenswear is womenswear. There has always been a giant conspicuous line between the two sexes inside and outside fashion week. Back then the girls wore skirts and dresses, the boys wore pants and suits, it was almost a required social dress code. Of course, that’s not the case in our societies today. Girls are now allowed to wear pants in any form and style. This even contributed to the slight decrease of skirts and dresses seen in an average girl’s closet. If womenswear changed so much, and still changing, why are the boys still sticking with such an old concept of fashion and clothing?

With gender issue awareness in the air, the fashion industry is pushing the style boundary and breaking new grounds. For example, Hood by Air is sending girls down their catwalk in baggy pants and guys in tight dresses. Hedi Slimane carries on Yves Saint Laurent’s revolutionary vision with ladies strutting down the runway in masculine business looks. Christopher Bailey is putting his Burberry boys in bright lace shirts and coats during LCM SS16. Also this season, Gucci is fusing menswear and womenswear into a single show with the male and female models clad in floral prints and lace. Gender neutrality in fashion is rising, the industry is redefining style and destroying what is “ideal” clothing for men and women.

Left to right: Hood By Air, Saint Laurent, Burberry Prorsum, Gucci

Obviously, these bold statements have a ripple effect beyond the catwalk. Outside of these fashion week venues, the it boys and it girls of the industry walk the streets and hit the shows with parallel looks. Flowy dress shirts and tailored suits switching sexes, style has a new meaning. These looks are far too chic and pliable for just one gender, no?

Photo: Le 21ème – Adam Katz Sinding

Beyond the streets of fashion week, even celebrities in pop culture are sporting the genderless looks at red carpets, on stage, at fashion shows, and even prom. From Emma Watson pulling a fashion plot twist with pants under her dress nodding to her feminism movement at the Golden Globes to Kanye West rocking a SS11 Céline blouse onstage at Coachella. And from Jaden Smith wearing an à la mode calf length dress to prom with Amandla Stenberg to Jared Leto dressed in a pair of women’s pants from Chanel to attend the house’s couture show, these style statements are quickly influencing the everyday youths to see beyond the fashion gender line and wear what they consider as stylish and fashionable.

Ultimately, the greatest takeaway from this is not who wore clothing of the opposite sex or who didn’t.

Whatever is occurring in society, the fashion world can also have its parallels. This simply draws attention to how as the world becomes more aware of gender issues, the ripple effects occurs to the fashion world as well, and there’s much more for you to learn from it. No matter how you view this revolutionary step, whether as a way to say that both sexes are equal, even when it comes to fashion, or to say that fashion is now completely based on style and not how it adheres to gender norms, at the end of the day, remember that the bold choices that a person makes, no matter in fashion or in life, is not yours to judge. It takes some a lot of courage and confidence to be able to take that risk. The people you see in these pictures or in glossy magazines are used to attention and have confidence to make these choices and looks seem effortless, but everyone is different, and that effortlessness is not something everyone have. Don’t judge and think others will not get hurt.

Beyond this, with the style choices people makes, remember that fashion is fashion, style is style, regardless of gender. And as I often like to push the envelope and make things a little more provocative,

remember that love is love,

regardless of gender.

You are the revolution, the world is yours to change for the better.

All the love.

Photo credit:

Stefano Masse / (Image 1)

Gianni Pucci / (Image 2)

Marcus Tondo / (Image 3)

Yannis Vlamos / (Image 4)

Bart Everson, Flickr / ChurchPOP (Featured image)


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