As androgyny in fashion becomes more commonplace, we see a strong variation in how much women want to borrow. Some women wear a tuxedo better than men – we saw this on Carrie Bradshaw at her best gay’s wedding in SaTC (btw, tuxedo jackets are a piece to hold onto this Spring/Summer 2012). Other women with a more feminine style feel that investing in a men’s watch or oxford shoes is a commitment. It’s worth taking a moment to study fashion history, as discussed in “Androgyny in Fashion” to figure out what degree of menswear fashion styling is best for you. There is no right or wrong here – simply a need to experiment and find where you feel most comfortable. The goal is to create a seamless transition that makes your style seem effortless.
Early on, high fashion designers, such as Helmut Lang, Giorgio Armani, and Pierre Cardin hit the public mainstream with androgynous clothing. The trend that Coco Chanel started has now spread far and wide all the way to high volume, low cost stores such as Forever 21, Zara, and H&M.
Have you noticed the trend over the last decade? Men are seen sporting longer hair with hairdyes and highlights while women are seen sporting shorter hair – notice the variations of the pixie cut that Victoria Beckham and Halle Berry were seen sporting? Women are increasingly wearing boyfriend jeans and blazers while men are starting to wear “girlfriend” skinnier jeans. It’s hard to talk about modeling without talking about Andre Pejic and Agyness Deyn. And these are just some of the examples of how the line between genders has blurred considerably over the years.
This year, take inspiration from 3.1 Philim Lim, Helmut Lang, Derek Lam, Chloe, Alberta Ferreti, Max Mara, St. John, Theysken Theory, Prada and many many others. See how the structure is balanced with sensuous fabric and color, and in some instances sparkle. There are ties, oversized jackets, trousers, waistcoats, and hats in a multitude of colors, plaids, prints, and fabrics. At Peter Som, Jason Wu, and Tadashi Shoji, the looks for Fall 2012 are inspired by Marlene Dietrich – a woman who “wore pants, but still looked like a woman.”
Miu Miu’s runway had oversized, boxy jackets, waistcoats, ascots (ascot ties) – all in bold colorful prints. There will never be any excuse for a pantsuit to be boring every again. There are waist hugging belts, newsboy caps at Jen Kao, tilted fedoras at Giorgio Armani, and collars with ribbon “ties” at Barbara Bui and printed ascot ties and workwear at Miu Miu – while the ensembles on these runways are more difficult and expensive to incorporate into your wardrobe, these details will set you free.