by Iman / Destination Iman
5th March 2013
Androgyny is not trying to manage the relationship between the opposites; it is simply flowing between them. – June Singer
You know the feeling when you put on a man’s blazer and you get a peek of cleavage, the words that come up in your mind, I look good, I feel powerful, I am “the man”. Or while sauntering across a crowded lounge, side glancing with a flirty smirk at everyone under the brim of your fedora as if you know they’re all thinking about it with you as you walk by. Some men put on eyeliner, nail polish, fishnets and it’s an automatic license to ensnare anyone in their fierce path. There’s that tingling feeling of liberation and power you get when you break the gender rules, the effect – an instant aphrodisiac. It’s like hanging a sign that says, “I’m sexy, … and I don’t look like a slut!”
Non-conforming by nature and breaking through the collective of social barriers, androgyny allows for all of us to freely choose whoever we want to be. Whether it be your sex, style and/or lifestyle, these decisions that are made do not abide by the constrictions and rules that the world around us dictates to be the “norm” and instead invokes feelings of empowerment along with providing the ability to be unapologetic in a “I don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks because I. Am. Fabulous.” sort of way.
Within the world of fashion, the variables of androgyny seem endless. You can just nod your head to it by playing with proportions. Throw on your boyfriends button down and pair it with leather skinny pants and platform spiked heels a la Balmain and be that perfect intersection between masculinity and seduction. Or, you can get down on your hands and knees and praise the androgyny Gods and Goddesses by paying homage to their fearless fashion moments by throwing on a bold printed suit and silk oxford a la Miu Miu circa Fall 2012 with some Ann Demeulemeester loafers giving everyone around you a beaming sense of internal strength. As we progress each fashion season, designers take this trend to different levels and show us pieces we can incorporate into our own wardrobe to bring out the boy and girl in all of us. In fact, this most recent season – Fall 2013, designers seemed not only encouraging but craving a blur of the sexes in each of their collections.
For instance, androgyny can be understated and feminine. Since his fashionable beginnings, Ralph Lauren has always managed a sophisticated and preppy silhouette so that menswear looked seamlessly accessible on his (female) models bodies. Crisp white button downs, tweed vests with matching wide leg trousers and a signature newsboy cap, it screams Lauren Hutton and Katherine Hepburn. It’s timeless, and many designers bring this type of androgyny to a portion of their runway every season.
Then there are the designers who use masculine cuts and tailoring to demonstrate how androgyny can seamlessly translate itself from one sex to another. Designers like Jean Touitou for A.P.C , Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen for Elizabeth and James and Derek Lam for 10 Crosby by Derek Lam reminded us this season of how beautiful a woman can be in a masculine tailored suit and heavy box cut dress coats. Throughout her Fall 2013 collection, Barbara Bui slicked her models cropped hair back and sent them all down the runway in boldly structured shapes speaking to the Janelle Monae’s and Elly Jackson’s of the world.
Lastly, there are those style icons and designers who push every boundary and barrier until they smash through to the other side. Designers like J.W Anderson who put his male models in higher hemlines than his female models, had his men walk the runway in ruffled edged shorts and strapless tops for his Fall 2013 collection. Designers like Jonathan Anderson nod their head to leaders and androgynous game changers like Annie Lennox and Grace Jones who inspired those around them that being different was not only ok, but something that should be celebrated.