or The Ever-Changing Face of Gender Fluid Fashion & its Meaning
For too long, fashion and society has held firm to one very narrow idea of what is
acceptable, understood and recognized as women AND men roles as a gender.
That idea including what each gender could say, do and wear.
While there is nothing wrong with identifying as either Female or Male,
the idea in itself is restrictive and has its strings of judgment
and insecurity for those who don’t know or rather not identify to either or identifies with both.
Many remember the Fall cover of Vogue featuring Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik.
The issue was to cover Gender fluid fashion, lifestyle and awareness.
To the surprise of Vogue and to the featured models, a lot of backlash followed the release
of the issue. Having them featured on the front of the magazine gave the impression that
Vogue was marketing Zayn ang Gigi as the face of gender fluidity.
Many took to Twitter to express their feelings on the matter. Jacob Tobia
wrote a very blunt statement featured in Cosmopolitan, accusing the magazine of
“using the identities and struggles and activism and brilliance of gender - nonconforming and
nonbinary people in order to spice up its fall cover of two cisgender celebrities”.
What Vogue missed on their issue was understanding what it truly means to be gender fluid.
It is not merely borrowing each other’s clothes. Myself wearing my
Husbands Hoodie every now and then, does not classify me as gender-fluid. It influences the
way that person speaks, acts and dresses as well but not limited to.
People who are gender fluid do not identify with one fixed gender,
the term is unique to each individual that identifies with it.
Leah Juliett who is an activist and the founder of March Against Revenge Porn says,
“I see gender as a solar system; it’s so vast and wide with so many options
that you can’t really contain it to a small binary scale”
For years, many designers have crossed the norm of what has for the most part always
been understood and represented exclusively as either men or women’s fashion.
Brands such as Louis Vuitton had used males to advertise women pieces, for example
Jaden Smith wore clothes designed for women for one of their campaigns.
Designer Raf Simons showcased both men and women’s line in the same show
for his first collection for Calvin Klein.
Despite with all the changing and growing efforts of such designers to
blur the lines of the restrictive guidelines of what should be men’s and women’s exclusive fashion,
there is still much room for growth. In order to truly accept and understand the
ever-expanding gender – fluid / Non- Binary community, designers and labels should seek
real people, who really identify with such terms.
People who have lived their lives in those communities, who have
survived oppression and judgment, who are proud of who they are.
It is time to really show their stories and display their beauty on their runways…
Text: Rebeca Cornejo
Photos: Vogue, Cosmopolitan/YouTube, Calvin Klein, Louis Vuitton
Video: Aleksandra Markovic