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.
First Look: Givenchy SS11 Ad Campaign
This campaign is going to be mindblowing. WIth such a beautiful first image released featuring Daphne Groeneveld and albino model Stephen Thompson, I just can’t wait to see more! Its pretty interesting to consider doing an all white campaign for spring/summer (The campaign feels a little more winter-ish doesn’t it?) but apparently it was a wise decision because white brings out youthfulness and freedom which is what spring/summer entails!
Another image of Stephen Thompson both photographed by Mert & Marcus. Beautiful model with brilliant photography. A commendable success for Riccardo Tisci. The campaign will also feature model Iris Strubegger and Mariacarla Boscono. So let’s stay tuned for more images to released!
Shoe of the Day #11
Givenchy Sequined Nappa Boots
Personally I’m not a fan of bright pinks but this pair still feels close to me. Givenchy has used a very victorian and classic style for these boots. Despite it being bright pink and sequined, they still look oh so perfect and are bound to bring life to any dull/lazy outfit. It could even be kept as a work of art at home, just look at all the details of the sequins!
Shoe of the Day #9
Givenchy Studded Booties
Studs studs studs. Either you love them or you hate them. Personally i feel that studs in shoes look good only when they have been designed properly. The Givenchy booties are a perfect example, it does not look too tough for a rocker but its elegant enough for anyone to pull off. The snakeskin leather adds toughness to the shoes but it being in a cream colour brings forth even more elegance. Notice the studs at the toes? Cheeky ain’t it?
Givenchy Fall 2010 Ad Campaign
Featuring models Mariacarla Boscono, Catherine McNeil, Malgosia Bela and Joan Smalls, Ricardo Tisci manages to create a collection fusing womenswear with menswear. Lensed by Mert & Marcus, the entire campaign stays true to the brand’s image whereby there is equality between men’s and women’s clothing. The bright, bold colours and structured clothing brings the campaign to a whole new level.
More pictures of the campaign after the jump!
Shoe of the Day #3
Givenchy Woven Zip Flat Sandals
One of my absolute favourites! A combination of bohemian style and the much sought after gladiator look. The deep-set brown hues and stitching makes this pair a necessity for the summer. It could even be classed as a vintage item dating back to the Roman empire.