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Fashion: the dismantlement of gender categories

For centuries, menswear has fashioned what it means to be a man. Never has it broken free from gender boundaries and masculine norms as much as it has today. A plethora of fashion designers are exploring non-binary identities and fighting for a more inclusive world where the LGBTQIA+ community will finally be free to express themselves without fear.

Morgane Nyfeler

By Morgane Nyfeler07 juin 2022

Gender fluid fashion is becoming increasingly mainstream and widespread (DR)

Historically, transgender and non-binary people have been harassed and discriminated against and gender non-conformity was only seen in the margins of society as something that had to be hidden and whispered about. Now gender fluid fashion is coming to the mainstream, while “masculine fashion is enjoying a period of unprecedented creativity,” according to Claire Wilcox and Rosalind McKever, co-curators of Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear currently on show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The exhibition traces how designers, tailors and artists have constructed and performed masculinity, culminating in a final room showcasing iconic gowns worn by queer personalities. “The finale, Dressed, looks at three dresses that generated ‘viral’ moments and considers their value for the contemporary (and future) understandings of masculinity,” explain the curators.

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Towards a more flexible representation of genders

Fashion is moving beyond the binary distinction. Here, a look from Harris Reed (DR)

Fashion is indeed moving beyond the binary distinction of menswear and womenswear, designing gender neutral collections and presenting inclusive, co-ed shows. When it used to be normal to see women in suits at an Yves Saint Laurent show or pussy-bow blouses for men at Gucci under Alessandro Michele, today distinctive categories are blowing up and the divide between genders is narrowing down. Mainstream fashion is now catering to the more than one in 10 millennials who identify as transgender or gender non-confirming. This is also thanks to a growing number of influential personalities that are rejecting the male or female label and prefer going by the pronoun ‘they’ – Demi Lovato, Sam Smith and teenage Netflix star Lachlan Watson to name only a few.

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