The Mancunion

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Fashion Zeitgeist

Gender demystified. Tarun Daryanani explores why androgyny is fashion’s hot new trend

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As the fashion calendar commences every February and September, an excitement and a childlike curiosity crosses the minds of the fashion elite and the modern day fashionista. What to expect this season? What outre pieces can shock us? These are the questions amongst the FROW, as designers send their creations to grace the catwalks of New York, London, Milan and Paris.

Androgyny has played a huge role in the fashion world ; being able to break out of the stereotypes of an ideal man and woman, and experimenting with both genders. Gender neutral pieces were publicly born when Yves Saint Laurent spawned the “Le Smoking “ tuxedo in the late 1960s.

No curved silhouette but rather a straight masculine body form broke gender stereotypes. Fashion is such a world where evolution is key; being able to adapt with the current climate of ever changing trends and social issues. Social media has provided a platform for social acceptance of individuals exploring the opposite side of their assigned genders (Jaden Smith being one of them). This has inspired and influenced creative fashion teams to plunge into a risky creative process that would shock.
Givenchy, Vetements and Gucci (during Alessandro Micheles’ tenure) have clearly embraced the femininity of the man and have brought it to the forefront through the introduction of pussybow blouses and flowy formal wear.

Since Gucci took a risk by implementing Alessandro Michele as their creative director, the Italian brand have since channelled 70s disco punk with a risky exploration into gender swapping. Menswear comprised of bright pink hues and studded sandals, whilst womenswear included grandpa jumpers worn over loose skirts. This exhibited the idea of a new gender being introduced; an unknown one. Yes, the clothes make men lust to boogie to 70s disco and the brand has reinvented itself with glitz and plenty of spangle.
Givenchy experiment with peoples’ sexualities, making their audience lust for dramatic, theatrical dressing. Givenchy recently sent their female models down the runway wearing long lined black jackets with combat zip pockets, giving die hard female fans that masculine edge.

Even the menswear explored a side of innocence and vulnerability channelled through feminine swaying skirts emblazoned with embellishment as part of tailored masculine suiting. With a brand such as Vetements, the youth fashion rebels feel like they can channel their inner tomboy. The tailoring of the super  high shoulders was impeccable and resembled a businessman lounging around in his oversized work suit.

Oversized shirts paired with enlarged parkas and tight skirts allowed the Vetements girl to play as a boy and the brands’ signatures are gender neutral and to be able to exhibit an edge which is usually innate from a rebellious male.