Androgyny in fashion isn’t exactly new. Women’s wear has long incorporated traditional masculine details with additions as subtle as eyelet, to as controversial as women starting to literally wear pants. Even though a woman in a suit is commonplace, a man in a dress- not so much. Menswear has dabbled with womanly aesthetics through tailoring or fabrication, but hasn’t been as effective at fully incorporating and translating the feminine in a way that’s mainstream.
With the breakout success of Alessandro Michelle’s Fall 2015 Gucci collection during a time where unprecedented attention is being placed on non-gender conformity, men in women’s clothing is making the leap from the runway to real world. Gucci’s overtly gender neutral style has taken to the streets of New York, Milan and more.
La Repubblica Fashion Editor Simone Marchetti, has been dabbling in women’s wear which may soon be a debatable term in support of Gucci’s collection but what he calls “no gender dressing”.
He’s such a proponent of the look that he’s already garnering media attention for the trend from the likes of magazines like German Glamour.
Alongside Gucci labels Acne, Dries Van Noten, Saint Laurent and more are elaborating on the genderless aesthetic. Streetwear brands like Hood by Air with its downtown, club kid vibe has been offering skirts and tunics for a few seasons. And CFDA winner Gypsy Sport is showing peplums and straight up dresses for men in its Spring 2016 Collection.
Celebs like Amar’e Stoudemire have already dabbled in the look as he dons body hugging tunic length tanks and skirts over trousers.
And Ougi Theodore the designer behind The Brooklyn Circus makes puts a spin on tunic more akin to a shirt dress with knitted leggings.
But is this all just fashion? What about the regular folk? Turns out it is! Real guys are exploring this look out on the streets.
But are these just slaves to fashion? Women’s detailing comes and goes. Urban Outfitters Mens Design Director and Creative Director for Saenai, Jay Escobara thinks it’s not really about gender at all, “as it is about shapes, proportions and colour that renders outward of gender.” As a designer he’s incorporated this ideal into his menswear designs for Urban Outfitters collections. “A dropped shoulder or a broader neckline to a cropped top and more volume in a pant really can address both genders” Escobora explains and notes that such design ideas are inherent to the DNA of brands like Cerutti and designers Maria Cornejo and Christphe Lemaire. Escobara warns that doesn’t exactly make the look relatable. Mass audiences still aren’t quite ready.
Society’s latest focus on gender is one that fashion has long surpassed. As we reach a fever pitch pushing towards a non-gender conforming world, fashion will be there, ready for us to catch up.
Menswear may not yet be completely overhauled but personal men’s style has blurred the lines of between women’s and men’s wear.