QUEER ME OUT | FASHION’S GENDER BENDERS
Ladies, gents and everyone around and in between, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. Whatever label you decide to give yourself or not give yourself: be it, live it, love it!
In the spirit of PRIDE, I had the wonderful chance to witness a panel of 4 inspirational people talking fashion, politics, gender, sexuality, and their story through it all. QUEER ME OUT!
BECCA MCCHAREN, founder of the bodywear line CHROMAT. AVIE ACOSTA, a gender-non-conforming model. RAD HOURANI, the first designer to present a unisex Haute Couture collection in the history of fashion. MIGUEL ENAMORADO, the Fashion Director of INTERVIEW MAGAZINE.
For the first time in my life, I can say that I wouldn’t live in any other fashion era than today.
I am a big fan of how fashion rules are not just bending, but changing altogether. Strict traditional lines are more than blurring, they are erasing. A fashion revolution is more than on our doorsteps, it has entered our houses, and I am greeting it with open arms.
Fashion has always been somewhat of a safe place for me, as for most of us. It is a hub of acceptance where personalities and styles are as diverse as the amount of living things on this earth. Miguel described fashion as being a scene where one can choose a character, dress him and give him a personality.
A kind of “dress up” where you can be whoever you want to be, whatever feels right at that exact moment. And if I dare say, the trendy trinket to play with right now is definitely gender.
The people of the fashion world, have believed and promoted intersectionality, and gender-bending, for a long time like Yves St-Laurent’s pantsuits for women. Though now it’s more than just borrowing clothes from the other sex, it’s more of an all access pass where every article is for everyone!
An idol of mine Rad Hourani, a Montreal born designer, broke into High Fashion with his unisex collections 10 years ago, and since, the trend has been growing and piquing interests everywhere from runways to streetwear, to red carpets and shopping malls. In the past couple years, runway models and designers have diverted from the Cindy Crawfords and Kate Moss’ to go with a more gender-neutral look like Ruby Rose, one who can model men and women’s wear, making clothes unisex.
More and more the whole spectrum of genders, races, spiritualities, and religions, sexualities and tastes is accepted, as it should be. Whatever moves you and inspires you. If you want to dance around with norms, labels, categories or you don’t, or you want to waltz with them some days and others days you don’t, all is accepted.
I am excited to see where this is going. What’s next? Imagine stores separated primarily by color, style or size instead of by sexes. Rad has to ask stores to make a special rack or section for his clothes as to not have them categorized in the women or the men section. What if there were no sections at all? A complete free for all, where you let your instincts guide you. Maybe a sensorial shopping trip! Trippy!
I like to think this whole gender bender bonanza will stay for good, that it’s not just a trend.
I hope no one gets too scared of this movement and rallies people to go back to their traditions and strict definitions of a boy and a girl. A good way of assuring that would be to stop associating blue to boys and pink to girls when they are born, stop telling them that boys don’t play with Barbies and girls don’t play with hot wheels.
Let them choose what they want to wear, what they want to like and what they want to be, and if everyone did that, no one would be bullied for not conforming to their genders. Mr. Hourani’s next step is to design unisex kids clothing and develop a market for it. If the whole generation gets’s together behind this, it might just work.
I realize I can say all this because I’m a privileged Montréal citizen, I can walk out of my door wearing WHATEVER I want.
The day that I have kids, they will be wearing WHATEVER they want as well, and no one will stop us. I know it’s not like that in the rest of the world, but I hope by changing ours first, people will notice that change is good and in the end, we all want the same thing, to be loved and accepted for who we are.
Thanks, Queer Me Out and W Hotels