• Home
  • News
  • Fashion
  • Fashion Per Gender: The Not So Great Divide

Fashion Per Gender: The Not So Great Divide

By FashionUnited

30 Mar 2004

If the recent Paris shows were anything to go by, designers are re-interpreting the Masculine/Feminine divide with regards dressing and making the wardrobes of 'typically male' and 'typically female' overlap.

Dress codes have long been an inspiration for designers, from Victoriana to Asian culture, and from office garb to Army uniform, and the suggestion of whether they celebrate our distinctness or restrict us from expression, designers continue to explore and blur the distinctions between the male and female dress code. The term metrosexual; today a common description for an urban chap who is open about his masculine and feminine impulses (to include his taste for high fashion), is only the tip of the iceberg of media interest referring to a gender neutral aesthetic. The concept of the unisex urban uniform in modern fashion was very much pioneered by Helmut Lang and this season this influence made it's way onto the catwalks of Chanel, Christian Lacroix and John Galliano showing their signature looks on men. In a non-descriptive, no nonsense form Nicolas Ghesquiere showed the same outfit designed for both men and women at Balenciaga while Christopher Bailey presented his much lauded truncated trench for women at his AW '04 menswear presentation. The greatest indication of this trend (for winter) was the presence of the cape (the ultimate gender neutral garment) in several men's collections. Raf Simons, Dries Van Noten, Burberry, Missoni and Byblos, all showed a variation on the cape to tremendous success. Whether the trend will be a hit on the high street remains to be seen, but the great divide between genders seems to be narrowing all the while.