Gender-neutral fashion: fluidity as freedom

Is gender-neutral fashion a future trend? Styles for Spring 2021 saw a
growing number of major brands champion gender-fluid, unisex or polysexual
fashions with Marc Jacob’s “Heaven” capsule and fluid collections from
designers Balenciaga and Stella McCartney. “Marc has long been a believer
that clothing itself is not inherently gendered, rather society norms have
previously determined certain garments are for certain people, (we) see a
great deal of hope in today’s youth, that these limiting ‘rules’ are
increasingly no longer relevant, with a renewed courage to be oneself,”
Eric Marechalle, the CEO of Marc Jacobs International told WWD in a recent
report.

A 2018 study by The Advocate found that the highest number of any generation
up. A quick search on Tik Tok shows that the hashtag for polysexuality has
almost 10,000 views and is still growing as content creators produce more
videos surrounding polysexual identity and polysexual people. On Instagram,
the hashtag has over 1,000,000 tags.

Gender-fluid looks took over New York Men’s Day SS21

During the of the digital event. Apotts,
Ka Wa Key, Official Rebrand, and Wataru Tominaga all presented gender fluid
collections. Apotts’ collection conveyed the message that regardless of
race or gender, we can all enjoy playing dress up. 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.

A voice for the voiceless through a prism of fluidity

In many parts of the world, the LGBT and gender-neutral community is
still met with hostility and violence. Gucci‘s global campaign Chime For
Change released the short film ‘The Future is Fluid’ —which premiered
during Sundance Film Festival 2019— as a companion to The Irregular Report,
a biannual report on and by Gen Z. The voices in the film represent this
generation’s tenacity, curiosity, empathy, optimism and hope, redefining
and representing the world through a prism of fluidity. In the video, one
Gen Zer expressed, “I hold myself responsible to continue advocating and
fighting for the rights of trans and non-binary youth because I have the
privilege to.” “If we start seeing this fluid approach we can start seeing
all the barriers open up,” another Gen Z advocate added.

In São Paulo-Pri Bertucci, CEO of the [SSEX BBOX] project,

Genderless fashion: East Asia’s social protest

Avant-garde and genderless fashion has had a long heritage in Japan,
pioneered by revered designers Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto. So
it’s not surprising that genderless youth fill the street of Harajuka, the
capital’s hub of subculture and streetwear trends. Since 2016, Tokyo’s
youth movement has been rejecting ideas of fashion defining sexuality
through make-up, clothes and Instagram filters that draws from Japanese
anime’s fluid beauty standards. In this documentary, i-D Magazine met the
individuals behind Tokyo’s most boundary pushing scene. Yutaro told
viewers, “sometimes I’m jealous of girls when it comes to fashion. They can
wear trousers and skirts without being told off for wearing boy’s clothes.”
A unisex girl, Satsuki, further stated, “since I started wearing genderless
clothes, I’ve come to realise that your world-view can be totally changed
through fashion.”

According to Mintel, a London-based market research firm, in 2019
K-beauty exports have grown to 2.64 billion US dollars. Mainstream South
Korean media constantly promotes the ‘perfect female appearance’ which
usually includes a porcelain complexion, luxuriant long hair, lots of
makeup, form-fitting dresses paired with stilettos. According to the NPR
article, “South Korean Women ‘Escape The Corset’ And Reject Their Country’s
Beauty Ideals”, women in the nation are rebelling with genderless fashion,
cutting their hair and wearing no make up as a feminist protest against the
patriarchal gaze.

Photos: Pexels by Lhairton Kelvin Costa, courtesy of Agentry PR, Gui Gomes

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