Androgyny: On Trend Or A Permanent Bend?
The aching conflict of fashion being a gay-male dominated industry for so long (thereby skewing the preferences of an entire industry, which subsequently spilled over into mass media) had effects that were both empowering and detrimental. While it made a strong case for gender bending through the years, liberating those who did not entirely identify as male or female, cisgendered women were being led to believe that the heroin-chic, curve-less look of the Kate Moss era was something to aspire towards. This proved damaging for the health and confidence of an entire segment of society, whose inability to slide into tiny pairs of jeans deemed them less-than ideal. Bollocks.
Thank heavens the Universe is balanced, and the pendulum eventually swung the other way. A celebration of models that shattered the industry norm of a size 2, 4, or 6 sample saw the light, and social media, runways, and advertisements alike became platforms for body positivity as an advocacy.
There is no longer a norm. There, too, no longer lives one authoritative voice or platform to deem what the norm should be. Instead, individuals have taken the power of being self-publishers and leaned into their individuality. This has diluted the laborious mystery and allure of high fashion to a certain degree, and it has flipped the conversation and made fashion more reactionary than visionary. Whether that is a good or bad thing is subjective.
As individuals of all genders and shapes begin to carve out their space in the mass market, fashion continues to do what it has always done. Take part in the conversation. Reflect the current zeitgeist. So, continuing with the theme of gender fluidity for Pride Month, and backing up the proliferation of people that believe gender is non-binary, here are some of my favorite recent collections that are worth taking note of, no matter how many X or Y chromosomes you possess.
JW Anderson (Womens Resort/Mens 2019)
Chalayan (Resort 2019 London Collection)
Balenciaga (Fall/Winter 18)
Lead photos via @JW_anderson and Chalayan