21st September 2011

Autumn/Winter 2011 Mood Boards: Andro-Glamour

A girls and guys guide to Autumn/Winter 2011’s own brand of dressed up androgyny.

Throughout the Autumn/Winter collections, gendered lines have been increasingly blurred as the fashion tide sweeps in an irresistible aesthetic of androgyny. The abundance of classic tailoring as eveningwear was impossible to ignore and in this season’s moody, monochromatic palette, slick trousers and a sharp, well-cut jacket are the essential ingredients for sartorially-sussed boys and girls looking to create a sleek and understatedly sexy evening look.

Androgynous dressing can seem daunting, but for girls dressing as boys, the runways were awash with inspiration. From oversized trousers and masculine jackets at Dolce and Gabbana to Paul Smith’s statement tunics and Balmain’s suggestive, midnight-hued minimalism, this season’s androgyny arrived in a range of wearable guises. For those shying away from the idea of mannish dressing for evening wear, look to Temperley, Chanel and Michael Kors for your inspiration and inject a healthy dose of sensuous femininity into the androgynous trend: think lace detailing, a plunging neckline or nod to the fetishism of the season with a no-nonsense killer heel. Nor should the lack of colour be limiting: Dolce and Gabbana’s ornate sequins added interest to their monochromatic colour scheme, as did Moschino’s gilded embroidery, whilst Stella’s snatches of sheer and polka-dot saw the her toying with gender roles, resulting in a pervasive vibe of playful, luxurious androgyny, imbued with subverted sex appeal.

The menswear collections were also rife with moody tones and slick tailoring. Mix midnight hues with classic black á la Giorgio Armani or channel rising Japanese menswear heavyweights ATO with a nod to the Parisian dandy in double-breasted blazers, classic belted overcoats and loose tailoring. As always, texture is key: an inky-toned satin lapel or a velvet blazer (incidentally, the statement fabric for men’s evening wear this season) will instantly update your look, whilst a great pair of simple black leather shoes (no scruffy trainers allowed please gentlemen) will keep your look timeless and fuss-free.

If you still need convincing that you can and should experiment with androgynous evening wear this season, let’s talk sensible shopping. All the key pieces for your autumnal take on glamorous androgyny are timeless wardrobe staples. Girls, if you invest now in a chic black jacket, cigarette pants and an unashamedly sexy black stiletto, they shall take you day to night, from work to wherever for years to come. The same logic applies for men (minus the stilettos).

There is some serious fun to be had with this look, as the joy of androgynous dressing lies in the intricacies of the styling. When a woman is looking simplistically chic in sleek, black jacket and a pair of 7/8th’s, she has the perfect canvas to completely sex-up the rest of her look. Think Marlene Dietrich smouldering in a top hat and YSL’s original ‘Le Smoking’ suits. We’re talking red lips, voluminous waves, and enough bad girl attitude as you dare.  For the boys, you have our express permission to unleash your inner debonair and rock your own brand of moody andro-glamour with as much brooding swagger as you wish.

Roisin Dervish-O'Kane

Roisin Dervish-O’Kane

Former Fashion Editor (2011-2012).

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