Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A case of unisex

Borrowing from the male side of the closet is as cool now as it was subversive in the past, there was a time when a woman wearing trousers was a sign of the apocalypse, how far we’ve come in not so many years is astounding or perhaps it took the female gender way too long to rebel?
Maybe so, but what about our male counterparts? Do they borrow from the female wardrobe? It brings to mind the insightful lyrics of Madonna on the subject:

“Girls can wear jeans
And cut their hair short
Wear shirts and boots
'Cause it's OK to be a boy
But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading
'Cause you think that being a girl is degrading
But secretly you'd love to know what it's like
Wouldn't you
What it feels like for a girl”

On a personal note I love men that try to be adventurous with fashion, however for most of the women I know it’s a bad thing since it is too feminine for a guy and you know how BAD being feminine is, if you love your fashion history you know that up to some hundred years ago male wore very elaborate clothing rivaling that of the females without being perceived as week or *gasp* gay, off course being gay is not a bad thing but it should not be automatically linked to a man’s fashion sense, this is what keeps many men trapped in a boring look just to fit in, not raising any waves. Remember all the hoo-haa David Beckham in a sarong with pink nails caused?

Anyways I bring all this up because of this image from The Sartorialist:

This man looks polished to perfection, if a bit feminine (but that’s not a bad thing) and when I saw it though it was a great outfit regardless of the wearer’s gender, perfectly Unisex (which refers to things that are suitable for either sex, the term coined in the 1960’s- or so says Wikipedia).
What would Rudi Gernreich say about it? Would he approve?
My best guess is he of Space 1999/monokini/pubikini/thong/no bra-bra fame would approve as he was a unisex advocate and an out of the box designer (he’s noted as the first designer to use vinyl and plastic in garment construction).

The infamous monokini-of which the designer managed to sale 3,000 units at $24 each

He was into total looks as well and you can see an example of his work on his 1966 fashion film Basic Black (yes fashion film is not a new concept) starring his muse Peggy Moffitt which is pretty hilarious.

The designer in 1968 with muse Peggy Moffitt.

In any case the whole point is not so much becoming asexual creatures with the same wardrobe and no distinction between each other but to borrow and transform items from the other sex and adjust it to our sartorial needs. I mean Ozzy Osborne wears eyeliner and paints his nails and no one can accuse him of being anything but stylish in a very personal way and that is what fashion is for: having fun with it!

What say you on the subject of unisex fashion? Is it ok to share it all or should there be boundaries between each sex?


Kionon said...

As long as I watch the cut, I often shop on the other side of the store. Why? Well, primarily because I'm 115lbs (50.4 kg) 5'11, with a 26" waist. Tall, and skinny. Lots of times female shirts actually fit me better, if I am sure not to get front darts in them. Likewise, female jeans almost always fit better, and even female slacks, as long as they are not too fitted or low cut, also fit better.

Sometimes male cuts just don't fit my body.

M said...

I wonder how many men have the same problems with fit, that was issue I had not consider when writting this post,at least you got creative and found a solution that works within certain parameters.
Tnx for sharing Kionon!


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