Him, her, whatever! The androgynous look is here. It's time for slender men and boyish women
By: Roasie Virq Ahluwalia
Posted on: July 20, 2015
The best fashion news that hit me this summer was the blurring of lines between men’s and women’s fashion showcased at Milan. Lace shirts, pastel silk blouses, sheer organza jackets and fluid forms hit the catwalk for Spring Summer ‘16. Spearheading the trend was Gucci, which took the most radical approach to introduce the direction by Alessandro Michele, who took over from Frida Giannini. Michele sent out a stream of models in pastel-coloured silk blouses and lace shirts that could very easily be part of any woman’s wardrobe.
Since the days of Coco Chanel, and then Yves Saint Laurent, fashion has been about blurring the lines between male and female. One of the latest trends is to have female models walk the catwalk in men’s wear shows alongside the male models.
Italian label Etro also borrowed from a range of colors that traditionally have been the preserve of women’s wear such as electric blue, golden yellow and dusky shades of pink, for a collection that designer Kean Etro said had been inspired by the egg, “the symbol of male and female union”.
At the more traditional house Canali, heritage was updated rather than replaced under designer Andrea Pompilio’s vision of “an everlasting Mediterranean summer” in a collection featuring featherweight fabrics including organza, Egyptian cotton and a linen-silk-wool mix. Though the styling was essentially male, the kaleidoscope of colors and fluidity of fabrics could make invading the boyfriend’s wardrobe very possible.
The trend continued at Prada, where the menswear show was also used as an opportunity to show off a string of items from Prada’s women’s wear collection.
Paul Smith has been experimenting with gender blurring design for years now and I can safely enter a Paul Smith men’s only store and be sure to find several T-shirts and accessories for myself. Why, it was only yesterday that I passed the store at DLF Emporio in New Delhi and got riveted to a cross body canvas bag that is ohh so chic and totally unisex!
While I rejoice my favorite designers blurring the lines, how can we ignore categories such as fragrances and eyewear that have successfully managed to market scents and designs across genders? I have invaded my husband’s fragrance cabinet for years now for musky scents that I covet far more than the sweet scents marketed to women. And I say ‘marketed’ because a perfumer friend once told me that all fragrances are intrinsically unisex, they are categorized for ‘men’ or ‘women’ only to market them differently.
So ladies, we do have many more reasons to rejoice and invade the closets of our men more often, if the seasons to come are any indication for a while. Neck ties for women have been doing the rounds for sometime now, so what stops you from borrowing a ‘slim’ from that closet while you explore? Did I not mention the multi-colored scarf? So the next time you buy him a gift, think how you’ll use it!
Roasie Virq Ahluwalia is a marketing and communications professional with more than 15 years of experience. Currently, Roasie is Director Marketing - Canali India.