In the 18th century, men wore lush, curly wigs, in the 19th, Handsome Brummel wore tight breeches, and in the 70s of the 20th century, following Ziggy Stardust, the guys tried on knitted tights in glitter, bell-bottomed trousers and boots on high platforms. Girls in the 20-30s wore wide trousers, androgynous accessories and haircuts "like a boy", in the 60s they got into tuxedos, in the 70s they tied ties in the manner of Diane Keaton from the movie "Annie Hall", and in the 80s - That is, after Madonna, they stopped shaving their armpits, put on a basketball net over crop tops and heavy sneakers. Compliance with the appearance of sex and age for the time being was a social norm. However, along with the blurring and changing of public roles, fashion also lost clarity.
Of all the eras, it was the 70s (the return of fashion to which we see today) that became a turning point in the history of androgyny. In 1975, David Bowie, dressed in a luxurious tuxedo and flared trousers, presented a Grammy to soul singer Aretha Franklin and addressed the audience: "Ladies, gentlemen and … others." This is how the style icon and the main androgyne of the 70s described the new era in three words. The theatricality and artificiality of glam rock allowed people to choose any role and became a harbinger of the free thinking of modern fashion. The era of David Bowie, Mark Bolan and Brian Eno, Gucci creative director Frida Giannini assessed as a significant contribution to androgyny not men, but women. “Bowie's hermaphroditism helped women express their masculinity more vividly,” Giannini said. By the 90s, androgyny in fashion spilled over into a wave of minimalism and unisex in the collections of Helmut Lang and Jil Sander.
A year ago, Bowie released a video for the song "The Stars", in which the musician is haunted by his androgynous past in the person of the main androgynous of our time: Tilda Swinton, Andrei Pejich and Saskia de Brau It seems that Bowie again spoke about the spirit of the times faster than others. What we see in the collections of the current season again brings back and touches on the topic of gender. In women's autumn-winter ones - wide leather trousers, aviator's jackets with huge coarse pockets, men's boots, massive shoes, and in men's spring-summer collections next year - all skirts, dresses and crop tops. So, the fall issue of iD is dedicated to the Girls + Boys Issue, The Guardian raises the topic of “gender neutral fashion”, which implies the loss of gender identity, and the main style icon today is considered the adult and advanced Tilda Swinton, who looks equally harmonious in eccentric tuxedos and minimalist dresses in floor.
The issue of blurring gender boundaries cannot be raised without understanding the changes in the nature of the modern society for which the fashion industry works. We have already written that infantilism is spreading around the world at the rate of growth of the dollar, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. This year, the American trend bureau K-Hole (the very one that was the first to define normcore as the trend of the year) published a report that talks about the death of age in modern society. Society is no longer divided into age groups. But K-Hole distinguishes in it a group of people "no age" - the so-called youth mode. The report states: “Youth is not age or life stage. Youth is a manner, a way of acting and thinking."
Simply put, adolescence is the solution. Same as the decision of Kevin Spacey's character in American Beauty to be young. Youth does not mean looking ridiculous, idiotic, or being stuck in the first version of yourself. Youth is the ability to be absorbed in everything new. Youth liberates, saves from boredom, frees from social attitudes, norms and traditions. Youth means your right to choose: how to behave, how to learn and understand the things around you, readiness to rebuild, adapt. It is banal - who to be, what kind of person to choose, career, age and … gender. Gender becomes as much an internal decision of the will as your age.Loss of gender identity is the result of the freedom of the youth mode generation.
Androgyny helps modern fashion to form a neutral territory, democratic and one for all, and offer cool designs on its basis. Hood By Air, Kokon To Zai, Nasir Mazhar, Wali Mohammed Barrech, Trapstar, Bazar-14, Agi & Sam, Christopher Shannon see fashion as one of the links in the interests of young people along with music and art. Clothing becomes an identification mark at the “friend or foe” level, and brands form new subcultures that have always been a powerful engine of fashion. Fans of these brands don't care about gender or age. They are driven by a desire to experiment, criticize the past, rebel against the system and gather in the community. This is the behavior of youth mode.
Hood By Air founder Shane Oliver sees gender as homogeneity, not division. At his shows, it is absolutely impossible to tell whether boys or girls are pacing the catwalk in bulky sneakers and jeans on the hips. For Oliver, the shape of your looks is more important than your hips. Therefore, the show of the brand on the catwalk is attended by transgender and androgynous models who, together with the designer, stand for the diversity of beauty. A similar path is followed by Hedi Slimane, creative director of Saint Laurent, who produces androgynes at every show. The genius and success of Slimane was nevertheless recognized by the critic Katie Horin, who specially returned with a column on this topic to the pages of The New York Times.
Can asexual fashion be profitable? Selfridges' plans for next year are to increase the volume of unisex items. As Eleanor Robinson, buyer of the men's department, notes: “More and more women are buying things for themselves in the men's department. They are looking for real menswear: boyfriend jeans, men's sweaters, T-shirts or shirts - not variations on the masculine theme from women's collections. On the other hand, there are male clients who buy women's items and accessories. " It is obvious that brands and stores are taking into account the interests of everyone and are moving closer to the LGBT community. New York-based Bindle & Keep offers tailor-made suits not only for men, but also for women. Previously, bespoke tailoring was the privilege of men. Now everyone is equal.
In their report, K-Hole also writes that style is a repetition of the things that a person put on the last time with the intention of having sex. Apparently, it is absolutely not important for us what we are wearing - is this a sign of freedom and our independence? Of course. For those who are concerned about where explicit sex has gone, we can assure you that it comes back here and now. The new women's 2015 collections are full of striptease platforms, mini-skirts, mini-dresses, tight-fitting trousers, micro-tops, naked bellies and breasts, transparent things and obvious liberation. If you are a part of youth mode - it's up to you: to walk with bare breasts, "like a boy" or all of this is connected. Don't go to extremes. We are all different, but we have something in common - and that's okay. The main thing is to decide to be young.