Borderless Fashion | Reckless Ericka at MFW ‘12
Remember sometime last year when I wrote about re-defining the gender boundaries of fashion? That was basically on how increasingly you don’t see a clear gender boundary when it comes to clothing for men or women and one good case was men wearing skirts.
So, it was refreshing to see how Reckless Ericka, a Singaporean label, managed to explore that very concept and went ahead with a collection that was so grounded on the idea of ‘sexless fashion’.
The collection was presented at the recent Men’s Fashion Week and it was flawless right down to the execution, especially so in their interesting take on gender reversal with the models.
I don’t know if it is necessarily a good thing that at times you couldn’t tell if the model was a male or female but I guess that is what androgyny entails - there is no typical feminine or masculine feature. Just look at Andrej Pejic and you’ll get an idea.
Reckless Ericka has definitely taken their label to a whole new level and it’s exciting to await their future plans. Another thing I loved was seeing so many designs that I could possibly share with my man friends. What joy!
If you’d like to see more pictures from the highly androgynous show (I know you do) then head over to my Facebook page here!
And guys, the question for the day is, will you be sporting any of these looks?
Re-defining the Gender Boundaries in Fashion
This is basically an article on a topic that has been weighing on me recently.
In ancient times, it wasn’t awful to think about men in skirts or in skirted garments. Fast forward to today or even a couple of years back, it would be a cardinal sin for a man to be caught wearing skirted garments. By skirted garments I’m essentially referring to skirts, tunics and dresses. Society has evolved and with it, it changed the rules of fashion or rather dressing, creating stringent dress codes for the two genders to follow. The men are to be in shorts or pants and the women in skirts or dresses. However, ironically, women are allowed to cross dress without question but men should not wear skirts unless they want their masculinity to be questioned. Where’s the logic in that, except to say cross-dressing as a female is somehow worse as female qualities are inherently weaker? The supposed gender boundaries in fashion were man-made and like every other rule, they’re meant to be broken. Unlike in the near past, where movements such as feminism and Marxism created new dress codes that had more change for women than for men, this time, it will be a celebration of absolute freedom.
(Quilted skirt from the A/W 1985-1986 “Le Charme coincé de la Bourgeoisie” collection)
Jean Paul Gaultier believed that there is no one apparel that is intrinsically male or female and hence offered to reinvent dressing for men 30 years ago with the collection, ‘Et Dieu Créa L’Homme’ (‘And God Created Man’). It didn’t go down quite as planned. Now as more of society starts to open up and experiment with various choices, designers too decided to jump on the bandwagon and incorporated skirts and dresses in their recent menswear collections. Where there were no skirts or dresses, fabrics used were definitely softer and exuded lightness and flow to the wearer. Men are generally more comfortable in structured apparel as to one that’s loose and flowy like a woman’s dress, but apparently more men are taking a liking to the graceful form of skirted garments.
Rick Owens, Givenchy and Commes Des Garcons reintroduced dress shirts, floor length dresses and skirts in full force for their menswear Spring 2011/12 collection. Some were taken aback with the power in which the men stomped down the runway in somewhat feminine clothing but more were left pleasantly pleased with this possible shift in dressing norms. It’s a shift that could become permanent but it’s a transformation that must be handled with delicate care. To aptly put it, there was a new-found strength in menswear this season.
Masculinity doesn’t have to be suits and pants and structured tailoring, it could be strength and confidence from experimenting and exploring new trends and patterns. Men should be free to enjoy a male and female wardrobe just as the women do and the only thing left is to see how this revolution affects that one sniveling issue that continues to fester whenever fashion makes any leap forward, and that is employment.
Article featured in XinMSN.
Bow Ties: The irony.
Bow ties, for the men or for the ladies?
Fashion is crossing gender boundaries in so many ways these days. There is no distinctive man’s or woman’s style and no accessory is made solely for one gender. From bow ties to turbans, each is being re-designed to suit the other gender.
Take the traditional bow tie, Ladies will take a longer time to decide if they would wear the traditional bow tie because they fear that overly androgynous/masculine look.The only other style that appealed to women were probably the preppy ones in 09/10. Shape the traditional bow tie differently and you’ll get a feminine bow tie. Ladies will now swoon over it and accept it without much thought.
The collection above by Monsieur Jean Yves is one perfect example of creating universally accepted styles. The black for the men (it brings to mind the deck of cards, spades) and the pink for women (think hearts joined together). Of course, these two can be interchangeable between men and women.
Undoubtedly, I do like the idea of fashion being universal and not restrictive to the genders. Yet, I would prefer the time when women wore iron clad corsets and men wore their suits.
Visit www.monsieurjeanyves.com to view more styles but the above by far, is an ingenious design.