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Style and Beauty

Gender-Free Fashion

By Shweta Kulkarni, 31 Mar, 2020
  • Gender-Free Fashion

Blurring the lines between men’s and womenswear

While many have often criticized and questioned Bollywood’s versatile actor — Ranveer Singh’s unique fashion quotient of wearing skirts, floral prints, high heels, and nose rings, his sartorial choices have been hailed by ardent followers of the gender-neutral fashion, a revolutionary trend that is creating waves across the globe.

Largely inspired by the social-cultural movement where the new generation refuses to identify themselves based on their gender, the burgeoning trend is blurring the lines between masculinity and femininity, thus curating clothing ranges that can be worn by both — men and women — irrespective of their gender.

Gender fluidity in clothing is certainly not a novel concept, but with the fashion scene being dominated largely by male designers for the longest time, who had a certain preconceived notion about how women should dress, perhaps had led to a stereotypical demarcation in men-women fashion. The garments designed for women stemmed from fixed ideas about their beauties like body weight, skin tone, and figure.

For years, fashion thrived within such set parameters and was either known as men or women’s fashion. However, now with almost every second youngster being gender non-conforming, and gender equality gaining a stronger acceptance, the perception of fashion has changed enormously world over. A defiant genderless fashion trend, which is challenging age-old norms is on the rise and the fashion-savvy millennials are totally loving it.

Right from high-end designers like JW Anderson, Rick Owens and Rad Hourani to luxury brands like Gucci, Dior Homme, Saint Laurent, and Haider Ackermann are supporting the gender-free fashion movement. While high-street labels like H&M and Zara have released a gender-neutral collection, there is a rise of several new brands that are solely built around the concept of gender-free clothing.

Gone are the days when skirts were only a women thing (Ranveer Singh has definitely proved that on more than one occasion), and trousers, a men’s prerogative. In the world of this new fashion movement, anyone can wear anything, regardless of their gender.

In fact, the nouveau sartorial movement has given a new creative boost to several designers who are breaking free from the conventional norms and guidelines to create something exciting and completely out of the box. At the recent runway shows, top brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior Homme, JW Anderson and others blended the so-called feminine touches into collections specifically couture for men — ruffled sleeves, tight knitted dresses, velvet evening gloves, fluorescent pink and brocade outfits, and pearl embellishments seamlessly found their way into men’s clothing.

Moreover, in street fashion, several latest styles stemming from the gender-neutral movement are difficult to categorize by gender. The unisex collection by fast-fashion labels — be it sweatshirts, pair of dungarees, oversized jackets and tees — none can be simply distinguished based on gender.

With even celebrities like Jaden Smith, Tommy Dorfman, Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, and Justin Bieber experimenting with gender fluidity in fashion by embracing feminine fashion tropes, the movement is rapidly gaining popularity everywhere. Even some Bollywood celebs are seen courageously blurring the lines between men and women’s fashion. While Ranveer Singh undeniably is championing the genderless fashion movement in Tinseltown, actress Sonam Kapoor is also known to experiment with gender-fluid fashion. Not so long ago, one also saw actors Varun Dhawan and Prateik Babbar walk the ramp with a gender-neutral look.

Clearly, this fashion movement is here to last, and if you are wanting to experiment with gender fluidity, you most certainly should explore brands like Broke & Living, Muttonhead, Nicopanda, Agender, OneDNA, and H&M. So, go ahead shed your inhibitions and embrace this bold new fashion trend. No more ‘for him’ and ‘for her!’

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