New York Men’s Day certainly looked a little different this year, taking
the virtual approach like 97 percent of New York Fashion Week did. This
season, the crop of ten designers included Apotts, Carter Young, David
Hart, Future Lovers of Tomorrow, Ka Wa Key, Official Rebrand, Stan, Teddy
Vonranson, Timo Weiland, and Wataru Tominaga. While it is called New York
Men’s Day, gender fluid fashion became one of the biggest highlights of the
digital iteration of New York Men’s Day. Apotts, Ka Wa Key, Official
Rebrand, and Wataru Tominaga all presented gender fluid collections.
Apotts opted to not only explore the dynamics of gender, but also race,
with their collection taking inspiration from the topsy-turvy doll, a toy
popularized in the American South in the early 19th century. When flipped
on one end, a Black doll dresses in fabrics of slavery and servitude
appeared, when flipped on the other end, a finely dressed white doll
appears. The two dolls represent a nuanced interpretation of racial
dynamics disguised in society. The clothes in this collection, similar to
the doll, were turned upside down and inside out, reimagining the
construction and juxtaposition of the dolls. Pieces including cotton
shirts, denim, and babydoll dresses and petticoats were all reimagined with
exaggerated proportions. It was a message that regardless of race or
gender, we can all enjoy playing dress up.
London-based Ka Wa Key was inspired by the theme of no place like home.
This led to a whimsical collection of brightly patterned garments in every
shade of the rainbow and clothes fit for a queer love story. There was no
concept of gender here, but, rather, love was love. The brand is also
evidence of just how much the gender fluid fashion movement is gaining
traction as they have picked up retail partners including Urban Outfitters,
Opening Ceremony, and Han Style Korea.
For MI Leggett of Official Rebrand, gender fluid fashion has never been a
trend, but the entire antithesis of their brand DNA. This season, the
designer, who identifies as non-binary and uses they/them/their pronouns,
focused their collection on anti-waste urgency and social unrest throughout
history. Leggett took discard clothing and “rebranded” it, as is their
typical process, introducing a collection with no gender binary constraints
that was part art and part upcycled fashion.
Wataru Tominaga made their New York Fashion Week debut with an eclectic
collection inspired by ‘70s photographic flower prints, embroidery of
someone’s apron, unknown brand mascots, and accumulation of random visual
memory like patchwork. Multi-brand button-up shirts and maximalist
patterned T-shirts could fit well on any customer male or female. Sure,
some pieces might have seemed a bit busy, but perhaps it takes a busy
outfit to distract from the gender binary.
Click Here: Putters
It might be New York Men’s Day, but menswear is having a gender fluid
moment. At the end of the day, there’s no men’s or women’s clothes, but
photos: courtesy of Agentry PR