Fashion like any other art is always so intriguing because it is constantly evolving and breaking new boundaries. Previously during the Victorian era, women were expected to dress in a proper fashion, wearing things like corsets, girdles, and hoopskirts. This restrictive way of dressing perhaps was a way to reinforce ideas that women were expected to behave in a certain way, which might have been the reason why women were always expected to wear dresses or skirts. As society changed and women’s role in society changed, so did their fashion sense. Gradually, women wore trousers and now, when females wear pants or jeans, nobody looks twice as this is the current norm. Perhaps another period for change is among us as the style of androgyny is growing as well. Now it’s not only the women that experiencing large leaps in fashion, but the line drawn between men’s and women’s fashion is blurred.
Although the women’s gradual transition to wearing pants has been a long-time phenomenon, men’s fashion is taking a lesson from women. Skirts for men have never really been a trend. Before it used to be a garment reserved exclusively to the Scottish as kilts are one of the signature symbols of their culture. However, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy pushes the boundaries again with his design in his Fall/Winter 2011 and 2012 collections. He used a variety of different looks that emphasized a skirt paired with tights for men. Because it’s not the current norm for society at the moment, it sounds a bit bizarre, but when influential fashion icon and hip hop star Kanye West began wearing it in his famed Watch the Throne Tour, the public began to take notice. Although this does not signify that skirts are the new trend amongst men, the acceptance of it as a garment for males is a sign that possible changes are plausible in the future.
Besides pants, it seems that women have always been interested in experimenting with fashion. Females have borrowed their father’s sweaters and stolen their boyfriend’s tee shirts and dress shirts and styling them on themselves as their own. Perhaps the idea of females wearing male clothing has been a much more widely accepted trend than we’ve realized. Females also wear sneakers and have put their own spin on male accessories such as suspenders and bow ties. The phenomenon of males wearing female clothing is a little more recent.
The reason that Kanye West is such an influential male fashion icon is that he has an eye for fresh, talented designers and also because he isn’t afraid to stray from the norm. Besides donning a skirt and leather tights from Tisci, he created quite a stir at his performance at Californian music festival Coachella, and it wasn’t because of his song lyrics. At the performance, West stepped out into the stage in a top from the Celine female collection, and soon after, the blouse was sold to females and males everywhere. With Celine’s classic designs, the garments could easily be worn by both genders, and because of West’s experimentation with female and male clothing, it seems that the public is taking notice and experimenting as well. No longer is there such a gap between what clothing is male’s and what clothing is female’s.
To prove an androgynous point, women must again be mentioned for more strides(邁大步走) in crossing over to wearing men’s clothing. With suits and jackets for example, these tailored garments were once reserved for men who either had to do business or dress up for different occasions. Women soon after gave their own spin on the suit—females also rocked the fitted blazer with tailored pants both in the office and on the red carpet. Celebrities like Cate Blanchett, Scarlett Johannson, Kate Moss, and Mary-Kate Olsen wearing a fitted suit on the red carpet, this men’s garment might possibly look even better on a female silhouette.
Androgyny goes beyond fabrics and clothing in the fashion industry with breathtaking model Andrej Pejic. He is a Bosnian Australian androgynous model who has worked for any different, influential brands, modeling both for the women’s and men’s collections. His features are very intriguing as his face is the perfect canvas for matching with both female and male clothing. In Paris Fashion Week in January 2011, Pejic was hired to walk both the female and male fashion shows for Jean Paul Gaultier’s collections. Pejic was also awarded ranks in models.com’s Top 50 Male Models List as well as FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the world. Before Pejic’s modeling career however was the famous female model with the beautiful, strong face, Freja Beha Erichson. With her boyish figure and powerful facial features, she was arguably, the model that helped open the doors for androgynous, different models in the industry.
Fashion takes a spin as female fashion becomes more masculine and men are slowly starting to embrace things that are different. In no way does this mean that fashion will ultimately become similar for both men and women, but because previous movements in fashion were associated with social change, this could be a sign for society as well. Women’s clothing are accepting the tailored, structured characteristics of men’s fashion, with more garments like blazers, suit jackets, tailored pants, collared shirts, and less fitted clothing. Although it’s not as prevalent of a phenomenon in men’s clothing, it is an interesting trend to observe and analyze. If the line between female fashion and male fashion is beginning to be blurred, what does this mean is in store for us, and what’s the next thing to change?