When Boy Meets Girl Meets Boy…

Here in my latest for FashionUnited I discuss something I’m noticing a lot in my classroom…

imagesMost fashion students naturally embrace a level of gender nonconformity. Already equipped with a counterculture rebelliousness, they are taught to decode garments and approach dressing as an extension of their creativity.Their favorite designers have dealt in androgyny for decades: Ann Demeulemeester, Jean Paul Gaultier, Giorgio Armani…At the heart of the flapper frenzy Coco Chanel dressed women in slacks made from tricot knits previously used in men’s underwear; Marlene Dietrich in her dapper top hat and tails worn with glamourous pencilled eyebrows is still a source of inspiration.

Clashes, collisions, juxtaposition, they’re what makes the fashion world tick. This meets that, hard meets soft, girly meets masculine, sporty meets chic, city meets desert…Two distinct entities are mashed together. Separately, they are easily understood; together they become something new, yet familiar. But in this era of gender-fluidity, male meets female, and all is no longer so clear-cut.

‘Gender fluidity is everywhere’

I hear the phrase “I want my clothes to be unisex” from my students. Traditionally we would correct the student who had clearly misunderstood and meant “androgynous.” Men and women can’t wear the same clothes, we would counsel. Items need to be cut differently to translate to the female form. Breasts and hips must be considered in the fit of the garment…Continue to article


  1. Nice article Jackie. Seems we have to go with the flow even where fashion is concerned. And I agree with you on that button thing. I don’t think most people, especially if they have no sewing knowledge, realize the right over left and left over right aspect~Elle

  2. Interesting — you see genderless… and sometimes I see hyper-genderism. It’s a mixed bag…

  3. I never quite thought of this subject in the detailed manner you expose here. Saint-Laurent has two stores on Rodeo Drive – men and women – and I was recently in both (you know how much I love HS!) and I was more drawn to his men’s collection. The women’s racks were filled with very androgynous suits, almost all black, that were also beautiful but, given the budget, I might have splurged on some of men’s garments as they were quirkier.

  4. 🙂 In general I like that there are differences between male and female clothes! I don’t want to run around in a grey suit and be one of the faceless guys in my office. No way!
    I’m happy I get to wear colorful items that are typical for my style.
    But everybody should do as he or she pleases.
    HAPPY Sunday 🙂 xo

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