It’s common knowledge that fashion, more than anything, is just a repetition of trends from the past, over and over again. Some may disagree with me, but there is only so much you can do with fabric and concepts. Avant-garde is soon to be glaringly mainstream high-street. Versace has just released a collection for H&M.
As an example of this the UK is currently in the process of experiencing a 90s throwback, particularly amongst internet-dwellers, even more particularly amongst (dare I say it?) bloggers. We’re in the midst of double denim and cyber-goth and brogues. Not that I’m complaining. It’s delightfully continental. I love it.
Beyond this, there is something of an androgynous epidemic occurring.
Let me explain. Last week, I shaved my head into a crew cut. Two or three years ago, I wouldn’t have dared make such a brave move, because as much as I hate to admit, I would have been terrified of what other people would think, of society’s conception of myself (also the fact that two or three years ago I was still in mainstream education and my mother would have killed me). So why, then, can I do now what would have been a complete fashion faux pas only a few seasons ago?
The answer: androgyny, in all its forms, is becoming increasingly fashionable; to the point where we have girls looking like boys and boys looking like girls. Take Marc Jacobs, Calvin Klein and Jean Paul Gaultier.
I’m not talking about transvestites, but something far more subtle; the tailoring of your trousers, the cut of your coat lapels, the colour and fit of your shirts.
A girl in a bow tie and bracers is not an uncommon sight on the streets of Camden and Soho, while a guy in a skinny fit shirt, clunky gold jewellery and a fitted blazer is equally as frequent. Girls, like me, have opted for severely short haircuts whilst nowadays I see more and more boys growing out their hair, styling, and even experimenting with makeup. My boyfriend spends around triple the amount of money that I spend on grooming products.
So why now? As I was saying, we are currently in the throes of a 90s throwback. Well, how about this: androgyny comes from the 60s.
The 1960s was a time where social norms were being rebelled against; people no longer wanted to conform to the restrictions of clothing placed upon them simply because of their gender. Masculinity was questioned, as was what it meant to be a beautiful woman. The people rebelled against cultural stagnation, and the rebirth of popular culture began.
Is what we experiencing now in fashion a tip of the hat to the 60s? I think not. Fashion can often reflect the times that we live, whether it be financial, political, and most certainly cultural.
In a time where the future of this country is uncertain at best, now is the time to take risks and make a statement (see the Occupy movement). People are taking what happened in the 60s to a new level. The stereotypes of male and female have gone out the window completely, and the time is nigh for the Big Gender Issue to be resolved… through fashion. Why should I not wear dresses if I’m a boy? Why should I keep long hair if I’m a girl? It is utter bullshit.
I don’t want to conform to society’s views of what a woman should be, and apparently society is waking up and agrees with me. Male and female is gloriously no longer defined by how we look. Thank God.
So now, when the government is hated more than ever, we see a rebellion through fashion, as we did fifty years ago: an ignominious two fingers to the establishment.