Gucci SS16: shown at menswear, but for women too
A study revealed earlier this week that over half of 18-24 year-olds asked in a recent YouGov survey classed themselves as neither straight nor gay, but somewhere in the middle. So it should come as no surprise that fashion is following a similar path, with a flurry of non-gender specific movements that frankly, we can’t get enough of. As someone who doesn’t wear heels, envies my husband’s wardrobe and has a plethora of male style icons (Damon Albarn, David Bowie, Bill Withers in his red roll neck period) I’ve always found it annoying to be bracketed and pigeonholed (no I DO NOT want a pair of pink trainers, thank you). So I’m welcoming ‘agender' fashion with open arms.
We can thank Alessandro Michele, the creative director at Gucci, in some part at least, for agender fashion being in the spotlight. When he showed his first collection for the brand back in January, it was a menswear collection…but there were women on the catwalk, too. Come February and his womenswear collection, he continued the theme with a peppering of men on the runway (in fact sometimes, it was hard to tell a models’ gender at all). Sure, he’s not the first designer to do this, but he’s the first to make the clothes themselves non gender-specific. Head to Gucci’s flagship store in London and you’ll find no distinction whatsoever between the menswear and womenswear sections; Gucci is a luxury brand that has taken the idea of agender fashion and really run with it. And since it’s been cited as the most important brand of the season in terms of trend setting, this is significant.
Gucci isn’t the only one at it, though. Head to Selfridges in London, Manchester and Birmingham (and Selfridges.com) and you can browse the dedicated agender department, opened in March this year to cater for, well, everyone. It covers fashion, accessories and beauty, and was devised by designer Faye Toogood with the intention of allowing customers to shop for what they liked by colour or fit, rather than being defined by their gender and social stereotypes. Music to my ears.
This week Swedish high street store & Other Stories released a film (below) created by five trans-gender creatives to broaden the view of gender in the fashion industry, and to showcase its new capsule collection (above), which is available to buy this month. And new website magazine You Do You is entirely decicated to agender fashion. With fashion week on the horizon, we’re excited to see if more labels will follow suit…