Androgyny is something that has always been pretty prevalent in fashion (check out my ages old post on how to rock a tux: "Suits you ma'am!") and it seems that next season is absolutely no exception. It really is everywhere at the moment: Anne Hathaway sported a Lanvin tux amid her array of Haute Couture at the Oscars, everyone from Chanel to Dolce and Gabbana based their show on femininity vs. masculinity and male models have been tearing up the womenswear catwalks!
But would you swap your girly attire for something a little more, well, masculine? This season it isn't just about the Marlene Dietrich tux, or the boyfriend blazer. It's a little bit more intense and a lot cooler. We're talking full-on suits, slouchy 80s tailoring, a sexy twist on menswear that is difficult to ignore amongst a sea of sexy little dresses. Take Milan Fashion Week, there were at least two shoes that were structured on this ubiquitous androgyny. Dolce and Gabbana's show was a decadent mixture of gorgeous dresses and striking menswear details, Dolly Jones of Vogue.com described it perfectly:
"the girls trooped out in their black and white star dresses or as boys in white shirts, black trousers and braces- it made you want to join the party as a boy, or a girl, or both."
How could you resist the masculine charm of a trouser suit embellished with sequins, or the understated appeal of crisp shirt with braces? Dolce and Gabbana really triumphed with their show which totally stood out, but the way they swirled menswear into their womenswear collection was artful- they did not sacrifice one ounce of their trademark sex appeal.
Chanel also followed suit in Paris. Lagerfeld's shows are always a highlight, and this season was no disappointment. Gone was the usual Chanel aesthetic of ethereal elegance and flawless beauty, in it's place was a show targeted at the younger Chanel devotees. It was all a new take on grunge: skinny jeans under tweed, chunky boots to juxtapose beaded gowns, a jumpsuit in trademark quilting. It could not have been more contrasting with Lagerfeld's most recent couture collection, but I loved it. It was a fresh way of looking at androgyny. Instead of focussing on incorporating dapper tailoring into ladies fashion, this collection was more about slouchy shapes and clompy flat shoes. It was very hard and directional, but it certainly made me want to muss up my hair and wrap up warm in a tweed jacket with biker boots.
A more kitsch take on androgyny was unveiled at Moschino in Milan. I have a bit of a soft spot for Moschino: all the cutesy, quirky details are adorable, and I long to stay at Maison Moschinonext time i'm in Milan- they serve breakfast in china shoe-boxes! Their collections are never too serious or glum, and always have some element of novelty to cheer us up; this season they again played with this idea of masculinity. As Dolly Jones put it
"Girls have never been so girly about being boys."
It was all a combination of beautiful, decadent cocktail dresses with a balance of crisp suits with matching hats and trouser suits that had a uniform feel to them. But it was all so fun! This is how you do androgyny without taking it too seriously- you can still be very girly while still looking a little bit boyish!
It's such fun to dress up in a way you wouldn't usually, and I welcome this widespread androgyny with open arms! It doesn't just stop at the collections, though. There was a model taking the womenswear collections by storm, and his name is Andrej Pejic (main picture). He walked in a number of shows, a beautiful man with bone-structure many girls would kill for! His career kickstarted when backstage at menswear shows, people would ask "who's the blonde girl?" and suddenly the fashion industry took heed and Andrej was propelled into success in both menswear and womenswear modelling!
The time has certainly come to embrace your sense of style and take it in a whole new direction. If you need to look a little more fashion-forward or fresh- look no further than next season's finest collections... Or your boyfriends wardrobe?
(pictures from Vogue.)