A New Wave: Genderless Fashion
The line between menswear and womenswear gradually blurred when the fashion houses expanded their horizon on ramps. “Androgynous fashion is beyond sexism and gender identity. It is an expression of power in a fearless comfort zone,” explains Akshat Bansal, creative director, Bloni Atelier. Moreover, the quirky and unconventional styles portrayed by Ranveer Singh challenged the traditional norms, shattered the walls of gender defining roles and made us think, is there more to men’s fashion?
BLAST FROM THE PAST
“The world is changing. More and more people are identifying themselves as gender fluid or gender non-conforming to stereotypes that were created thousands of years ago”, says Anvita Sharma, the founder of Two Point Two label. Though, in India, the battle of pushing the envelope of genderless fashion moves with the pace of a fish in a huge pond, its seeds were sown long back and has dwelled throughout the Indian history. Be it the Achkans adorned by the royals or the Angrakha, all had genderless silhouettes.
The season is all about layering and billowing silhouettes. Yohji Yamamoto epitomises unisex fashion through his signature sheer flowing oversized silhouettes. He is one of the pioneers who paved the genderless road through his avant-garde collection. Highlighting the androgynous fashion, Rajesh Pratap Singh, through his new summer resort collection revealed how neutral tones and basic fabrics such as Khadi work effortlessly with any gender.
Skirts are one of the most controversial and unconventional outfits in a man’s world. What is popularly known as kilt today has an intriguing past. But the key to flaunting it right lies here. The powerful and sensuous photoshoot by an eponymous line of Louis Vuitton featured Jaden Smith in a skirt. The bold shoot smudged the gender divide in the fashion industry. The extra-ordinary signature style of the haute-couture veteran designer, Manish Arora is shifting the paradigm of fashion. He is generally seen donning his own collection and that too with sheer perfection.
COURSE TO CORSET
The SS’19 collection by John Galliano left everyone curious. The ensembles piqued intrigue about the gender identity of the wearer. The collection redefined the 21st century’s outlook on unisex clothing. Who said that corsets can only be worn by women? Formal wear juxtaposed with corsets has never been so powerful and breathtaking. The sophisticated Christian Siriano’s tuxedo dress displayed flawlessly by Billy Porter in Oscar 2019 dazzled everyone.
Nature has so much to give; it is probably the inspiration for your daily dose of fashion. Florals have long been associated with femininity. Gone are the days when objects defined gender, Rohit Bal’s silk embroidered jackets are an amalgamation of elegance and simplicity. The multifaceted ensemble can be flaunted on every occasion. There are a number of brands and labels such as Two Point Two and The Pot Plant in India that are redefining the definition of masculinity by their genderless collection.
Other budding designers such as Sumiran Kabir Sharma and Ayushman Mitra are paving the path to the realm of genderless fashion. Fashion has always been a medium of self-expression and a channel of defining one’s identity. Anvita adds, “The possibilities of styling or dressing ourselves are endless. We just need to explore, experiment, and express.” The categorisation of wardrobe according to gender should be annihilated because genderless fashion does not fence you in, it releases you from the societal norms. Pink frilled frock for girls and a graphic blue tee for boys are now becoming an old school definition. In the battle of sexes, it was never about which gender is wearing the garment, it is about the person inside it. As fashion becomes genderless, dive in the ocean of options and expand the horizons of your wardrobe.
Story by: Anshika Seth, Intern at FHM India Magazine