Tag Archives Genderbending

Not Just Harry Styles


Harry Styles quite literally broke the Internet, garnering over 9 million likes on Instagram, of his first Vogue cover. Donning a Gucci gown, Styles stands as the first-ever solo male to do so. His gender-defying appearance has brought both adoration and contention to the table. Many have applauded him for taking steps to overtly represent gender-neutrality in fashion but conservative critics reject his stepping out of the rigid lines between male and female. His work, however, as masks the decades of gender-defying that other artists and designers have done to pave the way for him to act heretofore – it’s not just Harry Styles.

Unisex fashion in the modern day can largely be attributed to the year 1968, a time where both the feminist ideals of the Women’s Movement and the global Space Race contributed to a ‘Space Age’ in fashion. In her book Sex and Unison: Fashion, Feminism, and the Sexual Revolution, University of Maryland professor Jo Paoletti references Paris runways on which designers like Pierre Cardin and Andre Courreges delved into the idea of exploration in simple silhouettes and synthetic fabrics, helping to muddy the burgeoning gender of clothes. Cardin’s “Cosmocorps” collection particularly highlighted unisexism offering zipped sweaters and belted jumpsuits that could be worn by both men and women.  

Unisex clothing only persisted temporarily, however, ironically acting as agents of promoting gendered clothing rather than ambiguity. Paoletti writes “part of the appeal of adult unisex fashion was the sexy contrast between the wearer and the clothes, which actually called attention to the male or female body.” Gendered fashion then naturally became characterized by their target audiences, there only two “boy or girl” definitions for clothes.  

Image provided by AnOther Magazine, shot by David Sims

Since the 1990s, this trend has hiccuped to famous fashion brands that have established non-binary fashion as a progressive movement. Moreso, it became attached to celebrity media helping to set a playing field for others. Think Kurt Cobain in a traditional baby doll dress slap on the cover of “The Face” or gender-defying performances given by Prince. Either way, genderfluid fashion was now unsheathed from the world of high-end runway fashion and exposed to the general public via these popular faces. It makes sense as to why TeenVogue had to write and title an entire article deattributing the movement to these pop stars. 

At present, there is a new creative collective that has taken the reins on genderfluid fashion. Though Harry Styles is at the forefront, sporting many iconic looks like Marc Jacobs at the Brit Awards and his Met Gala work by Gucci genius Alessandro Michele, there have been others that paved the road that Styles now leads on. Jaden Smith has appeared as an advocate of androgynous dressing since starring in Louis Vuitton’s SS16 womenswear campaign. He has also started his own gender-neutral clothing line MSFTSrep. But Styles’ work should not be consequently discredited as it takes multiple kegs to make a cultural change occur.  

And we can look forward to where that came from.


Read more fashion articles at ClichéMag.com

Images provided by Flickr, Unsplash, Pexels & Pixabay

Rappers Are Wearing Dresses!


“You can’t just arrogantly wear whatever the fuck you want to wear on some ‘self-expression’ bullshit,” rapper Lord Jamar said on VladTV about rappers wearing women’s clothing. “Because in order to preserve a culture there are certain guidelines and boundaries that have to be there.”


At New York Summer/Spring Fashion Week earlier this month, Rodarte and Marc Jacobs both showed collections filled with ethereal, grandiose gowns that gave off serious Marie Antoinette vibes. Streetwear is on its deathbed or at least nearing it; it has been so overly appropriated by luxury brands that it no longer feels genuine but like everyone is chasing after the cash cow. Marc Jacobs’ and Rodarte’s collections detailed a want to move away from the expected and mainstream and return to highfalutin luxury. Calvin Klein, Pyer Moss, and Area all also included lavish gowns although not designed to the otherworldly extent that Jacobs and the Mulleavys did. These commonalities signal a step away from the banalities of streetwear, but will culture follow?

There is a long and fruitful history of musicians crossing gender boundaries, but it isn’t until more recently that rap has begun challenging dressing norms. Prince, David Bowie, and Freddie Mercury all made a lot of noise with their non-conforming styles, but they are all from the past. Currently, rap is the mainstream sound and its history with homophobia and ultra-masculinity makes it and hyper-femininity appear to be disharmonious, but that isn’t actually the case! With rappers like Jaden Smith, A$ap Rocky, Lil Uzi, and Young Thug (to name a few) blurring gender lines through fashion, genderbending is becoming more conventional with many stars purchasing designer prescription glasses that are fashionable and trendy.


One of the most iconic moments in this path was the dropping of Young Thug’s No, My Name is Jeffery. On the cover of his album, he wears an intricate, classical gown that looks out of a Rococo painting. It blasted across the internet with both supporters and hate (both of which imply immediate success). When asked about his decision to wear women’s clothes, Young Thug said, “It don’t matter. You could be a gangster with a dress, you could be a gangster with baggy pants. I feel like there’s no such thing as gender.”


Kid Cudi, Kanye, and Andre 3000 have all also played across gender lines with skirts and kilts to much criticism. The old school hate of rappers wearing traditionally feminine garments only bolsters the fact that it will grow. Both the runway and popular music are turning to more feminine looks. For designers, the movement is just a fashion choice, but for rappers, the donning of traditional feminine garb signals a more impactful change and dissemination of gender norms.





Read more Fashion articles at Cliché Magazine
Rappers are Wearing Dress! ; Images Credits: @youngthug , @calvinklein , @rodarte and @louisvuitton on Instagram; Huffington Post