Androgyny

It is making the rounds once more. It’s no surprise; the style is poetry. Androgyny. It is arguably one of the most beautiful words in the English language. And androgynous style is no new thing: the roaring twenties saw flappers with cropped hair and flat chests. The sixties style icons wore pant-suits in exciting new ways. And almost forty years later, we are exploring the style once more. It’s hardly shocking that it’s making a rise now; women everywhere are tired of being harassed and catcalled on the streets. Feminism is only growing stronger, and more and more young women are being inspired to take a stand against sexism and gender inequality.

I stand behind the belief that we should not be afraid to wear what we like. Some women love to dress with a fearless sex appeal, others find their fists while wearing button-up shirts and trouser pants with a razor-sharp press.

Erika Lynder for Crocker Jeans’ SS2014 campaign showed us how effortlessly she can morph with a simple adjustment of her hair and a quick application of makeup. The campaign is powerful, and the strength we feel from her is unprecedented; she is a woman who has conquered gender. One minute masculine, the next, feminine. Fluidity like this is not shown to us often enough.

Androgynous celebrity would include 28-year-old R&B artist Janelle Monáe. She has topped the charts while making headlines with her androgynous fashion sense. Her high profile performances give visibility to her style, and she describes her signature tuxedo as her career’s uniform.

An effortless glide through the Instagram feed of supermodel Coco Rocha will show you a woman who has been utilising androgyny for years. From one photo to the next, Rocha strides through ballgowns and blazers. Her cropped hairstyle only adds to her arsenal, twisting demurely for the dresses, and slicked back for the suits. A feminist herself, Rocha has supported many humanitarian campaigns, and she has helped to create The Model Alliance - a union for models - to protect them against the often ignored dangers of this competitive industry.

I am only excited for this androgynous trend to further grow. I believe it is a very powerful tool. Through androgyny, one can become a chameleon, existing both within gender and above it. It has its practical uses too; women in business have faced gender inequality for too many years, and while we are progressively conquering this archetypal men’s world, it is not yet a battle won. Androgynous fashion may be a brilliant tool to combat this.

While women’s androgyny is the current centrepiece, I hope that future seasons will raise more question to men’s androgyny. It is already acceptable for women to wear suits, however men still fear much trepidation for crossing the border into feminine garments. While it may be a future away yet until these boundaries are extinct, I do hope that androgynous fashion will spark the conversations needed for a gender revolution within the fashion industry.

 

I like to read Vogue, and I saw that they had a journalism contest over summer, with a grand prize of one month's internship at Vogue. I like to write, and an internship at Vogue would have been a dream, so I wrote three articles for the contest. I received a letter back kindly stating that I was unsuccessful, which is fine; better luck next time! But I am proud of my articles regardless, and so I'll share them with you on my blog over the next couple of weeks. This is my favourite of the three.