By Paige Gordon
There has never been a better time in fashion than right now to experiment and think outside the box.
One of the most apparent ways we’ve seen experimentation is with the gender-fluid fashion trend. Gone are the days of women and men having to stick to their section of the clothing store when shopping. Both men and women are now seen swapping clothes with one another more than ever before.
Gender-fluid fashion didn’t just pop up out of nowhere. It has been around for as long as there have been gender norms to bend. It can sometimes be viewed as a political statement to create awareness and sensitivity towards the trans community where binary fashion is not merely style, but a way to explore identity.
Wren Sanders, a contributor for Vogue UK, said, “when queer-identifying youth see queer representation on the runway and in the media [they] become symbols of hope for them.”
The gender-fluid fashion trend has also brought forward a large amount of support and opportunities for those in the trans community.
Gender-bending fashion has also been used as a way to break down toxic masculinity, and celebrities have had a part in that.
A trailblazer for breaking down the barrier, rapper Jaden Smith wore a skirt in a 2015 Louis Vuitton ad campaign. While fashion campaigns are nothing new for Smith, seeing the rapper dawn what is perceived as a piece of women’s clothing is what made it stand out.
Another male celebrity that’s brought down barriers is singer Harry Styles. Whether it be his on-stage style with his silk blouses accompanied with a velvet suit, or his recent photo shoot for Saturday Night Live where he is seen in a ballet dress, nothing holds this trendsetter back. Along with Harry Styles, singer YungBlud, Paylaye Royal frontman Remington Leith, and 1975 frontman Matt Healy have all been known for wearing dresses on stage when performing.
And of course, who could forget the 2019 Met Gala? Harry Styles, Ezra Miller, Jared Leto,and Darren Criss all showed that toxic masculinity definitely didn’t ruin the party. The theme was “Camp”, and all of these men accepted the challenge unapologetically.
Gender-bending fashion isn’t just for the boys. Girls, by all means, have engaged in it as well. In August 2017, Model Gigi Hadid dawned the cover of Vogue accompanied by her boyfriend Zayn Malik, where they were both dressed in clothes typically assigned to the other gender. Gigi shared during the interview that she shops in Zayn’s closet all the time, and vice versa.
At the 2011 MTV VMA’s after constantly being accused of being a man singer Lady Gaga showed up and performed her song “You and I” as a male persona she had come up with.
Whether it’s men dressing like women, or women dressing like men, it’s nice to see the fashion world going in a direction where fashion is something to be enjoyed by all, something with no barriers or limitations.