Ever since the famous fashion designer Coco Chanel started to add masculine elements to female clothing and set a fashion trend with the “little boy look” in the early 1900s, the idea of women wearing pants had surprised the public. It was the defining moment that lead to the revolution of clothing. The separation of clothing by gender was on its way out at least for the women. The trend was brought back in the 1960s, Twiggy being its icon, as the embodiment of the little girl-woman androgynous, mod-style look. And no surprise! It was at that time for the “Swinging Sixties”, when the relaxation of the social taboos concerning sexism began. Since then we have been back and forth between feminine and feminist fashion. And lately, we have been noticing a spike in the evolution of the concept of gender and identity in fashion. This is the creation of an industry of genderless style.
Many designers have embraced this trend. Yves Saint Laurent saw this trend even back in 2009 in his Spring/Summer collection, he used key outfits from his men’s collection, and adjusted them to fit the women’s size in order to create genderless silhouettes. A fashion designer’s Neo-Sex collection featured army surplus fabrics and a blend of latex and organic cotton for Spring 2011. The 2011-2012 collection of a famous Italian designer was inspired by the man’s tuxedo, which is classy and timeless, but at the same time brings forth the power of the woman to the surface. The new collection of a famous designer, called Wo-man incorporates rough-cut blazers to accentuate the masculinity within a woman. Even in India, a fashion designer managed to strengthen the relationship between men and women by playing with the two components: power and fragility. In Japan a new trend is evolving: the skirt, for men.
As for genderless hairstyles, they are also quickly developing in popularity. Ever since the 1960s, women started wearing their hair short. Since then, they took it to such a level that women could never imagine, with such styles as the She-Hawk, the Bald Look and the Pixie. A short haircut, molded into a mini mohawk seems like the perfect hairstyle for women nowadays: it’s edgy, bold and relatively easy to manage. As for the bald look, it’s not a traditionally desired cut for men or women, but it is certainly the absolute most extreme haircut available. Genderless hairstyles for men also exist. They have in turn grown their hair out, or styled it into a male bob hairstyle. A square jaw, muscular body, and maybe even a little facial hair can help contrast with the long locks, and face-framing layers of the bob can complement their jaw line and add a hint of style to the look.
Models, embodying the new concept of beauty are hitting the fashion scene as well. One in particular caught our eye, Andrej P. He is the in-demand fashion model, creating a buzz in the industries’ top female clothing runway shows. The result? The social norms of clothing come into question, and evolve into something new altogether, Genderless Fashion. Andrej P., with his porcelain skin, alluring pout, and delicate bone structure, is surely appealing in a more feminine way, even if in a male suit. Another famous example is Lea T., the transsexual Brazilian top model, who can model male clothing as well as female.
They say that behind every successful man stands a woman, and nowadays fashion more than ever leans on the perfect blend between their characteristics. Genderless, androgynous are not just words, but they are powerful pillars which make us think that after all, males and females are not that different. We all have a feminine and masculine side hidden within us.
Gabi Schmidt is a part of the creative team at Xaxii. Xaxii is a social commerce company focused on fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Among many Fashion resources at Xaxii, the magazine is a resource for style from around the world, tips, emerging trend and showcasing emerging fashion industry talents like designers, models, photographers, MUA and above all fashion lovers.