There is Male in Female

A breakthrough, if not twisted, is when the words “masculine” and “feminine” are used interchangeably in fashion. The so-called trend is calling us to see beyond gender boundaries to dress ourselves.

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Rad Hourani Unisex Couture Collection

Though the roundtable discussion over injection of masculinity to feminine pieces or vice versa has been rehearsed over decades, the infatuation still develops and extends its limit further. Designers delve into the play of suits endlessly, begun by the notable Yves Saint Laurent with his Le Smoking signature to Paul Smith boyish attitude that is translated over his tailoring expertise. The dynamics are obvious: from one fashion week to another, womenswear borrows the sharpness of menswear while lending colours to the masculine section. Menswear tears away the good use of kilted skirt and allows women (models) to occupy certain part of their runway.

Women employ crisp shirt and loafers to look sharp although men have their own pride of not going way too down to womanly territory.

To what extent does the coalition between these genders dressing blossom? Insert an infinity symbol over here. Having different body silhouettes and figures, men and women are to be treated separately, catered to each “specialties.” Even in the corridor of each sex there have already been immense variations. Petite, hourglass, apple, pear. Tomboy, feminine. Sexy, gawky. Slender, thick. The categorization expands more than mere biological characteristics, involving personal choices and style. Still, there are crossovers. Women employ crisp shirt and loafers to look sharp although men have their own pride of not going way too down to womanly territory.

Kanye West is probably the latest womenswear conspiracy supporter. In his impromptu concert in Paris, the guy went all Margiela with the masks from their previous Spring/Summer 2013 collection. Kanye also previously fueled his stage performance in Céline shirt. It is important to be noted here, aside from what Mr. West’s sexual orientation truly is, he adeptly put together the women clothes in a masculine manner—the artsy, edgy way.

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Kanye West in Maison Martin Margiela

These ongoing trend, though, does not necessarily mean that boys will start overlook the men section and browse the women section. Less gender boundary yields another new rise, called unisex. No, unisex here does not imply that the line disregards men’s or women’s singular characteristics, but rather, embracing both. Covering quite a thorough dressing amenities, from clothes to bags, shoes, watches, and accessories, the unisex collection breathes practicality, perfect fit, and simplicity, another trend that sits on the top thrones of modern fashion.

No, unisex here does not imply that the line disregards men’s or women’s singular characteristics, but rather, embracing both.

Maximizing rooms for unisex apparels gap, although Gareth Pugh, Maison Martin Margiela, and the likes inherently design for both genders anyway, the emerging fashion practitioners start offering what the big houses do not. Through Not Just A Label, a website that pools together the up and coming brands in a digital marketplace and exclusive treatment, there is Rad Hourani who lines up what he calls “asexual” influence in a couture collection. Monochromatic and structured, the clothes look more practical than ever. Another name comes up from a search of “unisex” term: Ksenia Schnaider. Slightly different from Rad Hourani, the Ukraine duo deliver a set of menswear and womenswear in a single collection, being partly unisex, partly masculine-feminine conjoint.

Ksenia Schnaider

Ksenia Scnaider Spring/Summer 2013 Lookbook

A hollowing question then, will unisex clothing be the future of so complex, so sophisticated fashion? The affirmative of simplicity can certainly see where the direction is, for the glossy fashion magazines and websites have already adopted boyfriend jeans as “must-have item” and men shirt as “to-die-for.” Whilst for men, the tote bag trend has approved it all. Shall we see a more forward looking clothes that transcends gender, it lies both in the hand of designers and early trend adopters. Cultural adaptation and personal style, among all, gear a potential force for the trend to emerge.

Text: Gabriela Yosefina.
Images: Not Just A Label, style.com