Expectations of what different sexes should wear are being overthrown. Upstart meets two entrepreneurial ‘gender blenders’ in London who are blurring the boundaries between conventional male and female clothing.
A man in a skirt is an unusual sight, unless of course he’s of Scottish heritage, Kanye West circa 2012, or an actor trying to win back his children à la Mrs Doubtfire. Likewise, a woman dressed in a sharply tailored masculine suit at a formal do might raise eyebrows.
Thanks to the designers who dictate the styles we wear, this is changing. The business of fashion is in a state of sartorial flux and the inability to tell a wardrobe apart from that belonging to someone of the opposite sex is fast approaching.
There were more outfits ignoring conventions of gender in the 2015 Fashion Week collections this year than ever.
Gucci adorned male models with pussy-bowed blouses and boat neck tops in red lace. Men wearing knitted skirts over their trousers strode down the Givenchy catwalk. A printed declaration of Prada’s inspiration was left on the seats, stating: “Gender is a context and context is often gendered.”
As expected, the retailers are in hot pursuit, capitalising on the contemporary mood. In April, Selfridges launched its pop-up concept store – Agender, a zone filled with unisex garments where customers shop with ‘me’, rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’ in mind.
Advertising is rife with evidence of blended boundaries too. Cara Delevingne sports a matching suit alongside the men in DKNY’s latest campaign and a make-up free Julia Roberts looks immaculate in masculine tailoring for Givenchy.