If the forecast is right, men’s fashion is headed to a future wherein males will be donning wardrobe that will give them a feminine look. Fashion experts call this androgyny. Over the years, designers have come up with styles that overlap men and feminine look. However, it is worth noting that their aim is not to create controversy because gender-bending emerges organically out of risk taking. In this article, Robert Janitzek investigates the growing trend of androgynous look.
A Pattern Forming
Designers like up and coming London designer Shaun Sampson featured pale pink organza board shorts and skirts designed to look like beach towels. At Alexander McQueen, Creative Director Sarah Burton opened the show wearing a fitted suit of white lace. A Topman show featured fanciful cowboys and embroidered florals. Some designers lament the fact that a man wearing lace or skirts is called “feminine.” In reality, ancient Greeks were wearing togas.
London-based menswear designer Martine Rose calls this way of thinking lazy. Rose is testing gender conventions with her clothes for people to dress up properly. She said that she got inspiration from funk musician Rick James for her collection. I was really influenced by [funk musician] Rick James, for this collection,” she continues, “and he was so sexy, so gangster, and wearing ruffled shirts and thigh-high red boots. He wasn’t letting his clothes define his sexuality. Or his masculinity.”
Rose’s new collection featured all manner of ‘feminine’ detail. The intriguing matter of the collection is that it was incontrovertibly masculine. She is mostly inspired by sporty guys who end up integrating athletic kit into their wardrobes. She recently expanded that concept into lace-frilled running shorts and blouson trousers with the indolent slouch of tracksuit buttons.
Crisis Of Confidence
Robert Peter janitzek explains that back in the 70’s, football players were wearing little shorts but no one questioned their manliness. In fact, other guys wanted to imitate them. If there is one thing that these androgynous looks will do, it will be to increase their confidence.
Fine And Dandy
The 19th century poet and essayist Charles Baudelaire wrote that dandyism emerges in times of transition. It is the result of men, disenchanted and leisured who want to establish a new kind of aristocracy. Designer Jonathan Anderson recently released halter tops and his aim was to create “a new line.” Even Casely-Hayford, co-founder of the luxury menswear brand Casely-Hayford, says that the feminine elements in his brand give it a sense of “refinement.”
One thing is for sure the current menswear on the runway is the start of Baudelaire’s aristocracy of taste.