Why can women wear dresses and men cannot? Why are there sweatshirts for men and others for women when they are exactly the same? Why can’t we choose our clothes based on what suits us best and on what we really like without having to make a statement regarding our sexuality?
Blue is not for boys and dolls are not for girls. Society is slowly leaving behind these kind of stereotypes and fashion has been one of the first sectors to join the movement. Neutral gender, unisex fashion, genderless… a lot of words can define this concept where the most important idea is to abandon labels such as “masculine” and “feminine”.
Nowadays, genderless fashion is accepted and is even trendy, but there was a time when wearing “girl’s clothes” when being a boy and vice versa, was truly revolutionary and even mischievous and risky. One of the most famous figures who dared travel down that road are people like Coco Chanel who introduced the wear of pants by women in the 20’s or even rock stars like David Bowie and Mick Jagger in the 70´s.
Like Coco Chanel, other world-renowned designers operated daring changes within the sector. It is the case of Jean Paul Gaultier who normalized the use of skirts and corsets in his men´s collections or of Yves Saint-Laurent with his tuxedos and military clothes like the gabardine and the Saharan jacket for women. As for Rudi Gernreich, not only he refuted the concept of gender in fashion but he also fought for gender inequalities and the acceptance of nudity in his creations.
Today, the genderless tendency is more popular than ever. In 2015, Selfridges, the famous department store of London, dedicated three of his floors to genderless fashion as part of a campaign called “Agender”. Low-cost brands also joined that trend: In 2016, Zara launched the collection “Ungendered” and in 2017, H&M created the line “Denim United” with unisex clothes where the only label was the price one.
Although Menswear and womenswear collections still dominate the runways of the fashion weeks everywhere in the world, some contemporary designers are introducing changes in the sector: collections 100% unisex, men walking for womenswear, proposals that break all stereotypes and gender barriers. We have prepared for you a selection of one of the most daring designers who have strived for that tendency for the last few years.
1. Rick Owens
The style of the Californian designer Rick Owens, is characterized by a black line with gothic elements that combine esthetical references to grunge. Almost all of his clothes are free of any classic label related to gender and can adapt to both men and women’s wardrobes.
2. J.W Aderson
As the Art Director of Loewe but mostly through his own line, J.W. Anderson, the young designer from London, the child prodigy of the British fashion, makes sure to abolish differences between men and women when designing. His masculine collections incorporate shades and feminine silhouettes and most of them include references to the androgynous aesthetic.
3. Pedro Lourenço
After 3 years of absence, the Brazilian designer that was previously the Art Director of La Perla, has launched his new label, Zilver, during the London Fashion Week of this year. He gave us a collection of genderless clothes that are also sustainable and respectful of the environment and the economy.
4. Gareth Pugh
The collections of Pugh stand out as much for there spectacular aspect as for their staging. The clothes are designed for men and women without any consideration of the conventions and of the politically correct.
5. David Delfin
One of the last campaigns of the Spanish designer before he passes away, highlighted the inequalities and the injustice that suffer women from men all around the globe. Under the motto “Fashion to be free”, Delfin brings forward a genderless collection that dresses women with clothes associated to a masculine wardrobe.
6. Yohji Yamamoto
Through his collaboration with adidas Y-3 and his own brand, the Japanese designer aims to create unique garments that adapt to both men and women bodies.
7. Rei Kawakubo
The Japanese designer, founder and Art Director of Comme des Garçons, ignores any concern about gender when designing her clothes. Her collections are focused on a conceptual aesthetic and carry messages where the question of sexuality is secondary.
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