By: Walt Campbell
Arguably one of the biggest movements in fashion, genderless designs are making their way into mainstream media. Fashion designers are using clothing to speak about gender expression and identity. By dressing men in traditionally feminine styles, and vice-versa, designers are breaking free from gender norms that are so prevalent in our society.
After the 2020 spring/summer shows, it’s clear that fashion is doing away with its binary model. Whether it’s merging their men’s and women’s shows into co-ed shows, or simply ignoring the gender labels of clothes, huge houses like Gucci, Saint Laurent, and Burberry are paving the way towards a gender-fluid fashion industry.
While combining men’s and women’s fashion isn’t particularly new on the runway, it’s something we don’t see as often on the red carpet.
At this year’s Met Gala, we saw striking exhibitions of non-binary fashion. The 2019 theme, “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” allowed designers to display their own artistic expression free from the restraints of gender. Celebrities like Harry Styles, Jared Leto, and Ezra Miller stepped onto the pink carpet in daring designs that redefined masculinity.
Billy Porter, performer, actor, and LGBTQ activist is one of many who can be credited with incorporating genderless style into mainstream media. By combining men’s and women’s fashion, Porter has made his mark on Hollywood’s most prestigious red carpets and inspired others while doing so.
Often referred to as “queer fashion,” genderless fashion has become a way for LGBTQ artists to express themselves and their community in a unique way, while at the same time normalizing queer sensibilities. By doing so, these artists are providing a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves.
This movement has received an astounding amount of praise from members of the LGBTQ+ community who are grateful to see themselves being represented.
The increase of genderless fashion in the media has attributed to a greater understanding of the LGBTQ+ community, especially transgender and non-conforming individuals. For these people, exploring gender is not just a style, but an identity.
From the looks of today’s fashion scene, it appears that genderless designs are here to stay. By breaking out of binary molds, today’s fashion icons are helping to dismantle our society’s gender norms, and eventually lead us into a future of fashion that is free from gender.