Articles tagged with "Gender Fluid"
Today, we take a look back to 2020 and a Harpers Bazaar magazine interview with Harris Reed (@Harris_Reed), the then up and coming designer who is now probably best known for styling Harry Styles for the cover of Vogue magazine. That moment was a pivotal moment in Harris's career as it instantly catapulted him into the spotlight.
"I’d like to eradicate the categories of menswear and womenswear,” Reed says. “Fluidity offers an alternate way of being, crossing and merging masculine and feminine.”
Harris certainly has a way of making what we would normally call feminine styles and presenting them in a way in which we can call them gender neutral. He is definitely one to watch for the re-shaping of the fashion world we currently know.
...and if that's not enough gender-bending non-binaryness for you, to take a look at @FluidByHarrisReed for his curated collection of classic gender-bending looks from the stars.
Posted: 3 September 2022
Stylus Media Group, an industry think-tank founded in 2009, reports on the collaboration between Jimmy Choo (@jimmychoo) and Billy Porter (@theebillyporter) to create heels for men in sizes up to US 15.
"While drag performers can find well-fitting footwear at specialised stores and retailers, many others including transgender women can often struggle to find appropriate heels in larger sizes. Reuters reports that transgender women can often be forced to “choose between more masculine styles and the hyper-sexualised designs of specialist retailers – with nothing in between.” Jimmy Choo and Porter’s collaboration taps into this market gap, providing more versatility in terms of sizing as well as everyday options, like classic heeled boots and suede pumps."
It is surely now only a question of time before the mainstream designers and retailers follow suit.
Posted: 18 August 2022
Is the term ‘Cross-dresser’ out-dated in today’s society?
Before we can answer that question, some definitions may be useful.
Cross-dressing: is the act of wearing items of clothing not commonly associated with one's sex. Cross-dressing has been used for purposes of disguise, comfort, comedy, and self-expression in modern times and throughout history.
Almost every human society throughout history has had expected norms for each gender relating to style, colour, or type of clothing they are expected to wear, and likewise most societies have had a set of guidelines, views or even laws defining what type of clothing is appropriate for each gender.
The term "cross-dressing" refers to an action or a behaviour, without attributing or implying any specific causes or motives for that behaviour. Cross-dressing is not synonymous with being transgender.
Another term for cross-dressing is Transvestitism. Someone who engages in Cross-dressing/Transvestitism is called a Cross-dresser(CD)/Transvestite(TV), although the term Transvestite is now commonly considered outdated and disrespectful. The term Transvestite (often shortened to the slang term "Tranny") was historically used as a slur against people who wore clothes of the opposite sex. Cross-dresser is now a much more accepted term. Cross-dresser was coined by the transgender community.
MtF and FtM Cross-dresser: A man who dresses in women's clothing is a male to female (MtF) cross-dresser. a woman who dressing in men's clothing is a female to male (FtM) cross-dresser. For women, the term is seldom used and the wearing of trousers/pants/men's shirts is often discounted as cross-dressing. This is because in our current society, male clothing is often considered gender-neutral. Therefore when someone uses the term "cross-dresser", the focus shifts mainly towards a MtF cross-dresser.
With those definitions made, two additional points are important to recognise:
a). Cross-dressing as it relates to Transgender: Wearing clothes intended for the opposite sex does not mean that the person identifies as the opposite sex. It is different from being Transgender or Transsexual. When transgender people dress according to their gender identity it is not necessarily the same as cross-dressing.
It is important to know that a cross-dresser does not necessarily have body or gender dysphoria (gender dysphoria means feeling uncomfortable with their body and gender they were born with), they are perfectly happy with their gender assigned at birth and have no desire to change their sex, but simply enjoy being able to cross-dress from time to time. However, Transgender describes people who feel that their gender identity is different from their biological sex.
Most transgender people do not appreciate being called cross-dressers, and for good reason. As they are wearing clothes of their own gender identity they consider themselves, and should be considered by others as the gender they are dressing in. A Transgender woman wearing women's clothes is not a cross-dresser, nor is she a drag queen. She is just a woman. Similarly, a Transgender man, wearing men's clothes is not a cross-dresser, nor is he a drag king. He is just a man.
b). Cross-dressing as it relates to Drag: A cross-dresser should not be confused with drag queens/kings. Drag is a special form of performance art based on the act of cross-dressing. Drag queens are usually male performance artists who dress in female character. Drag Kings are mostly female performance artists who dress in male character.
Now, to get down to answering the question...
As gender refers to the socially constructed roles, behaviours, expressions and identities of girls, women, boys, men, and gender diverse people we can deconstruct that concept. While the term Cross-dresser works well for some people, as it has for years, for many others they do not feel that it works well for them. For non-binary or agender people (who don't identify with the gender binary of male & female) who want to wear certain clothes as part of their gender expression, feel that the term is obstructive and often offensive towards them. With the realisation that clothes have no gender, a skirt or a pair of trousers are essentially just coloured and textured fabric cut and sewn into a garment. The clothes know nothing of gender other than that assigned to them by their creator. The same, of course applies to shoes - high heels are not women's shoes... they are just high heels.
A growing number of people believe that today's socially constructed gender stereotypes don't serve us well in enabling fully inclusive gender expression that recognises our diversity. With the central fact that gender is a social construct, gender labelling of clothing is also a therefore also social construct and can equally be challenged and deconstructed. Gender labelling of clothing perpetuates the construct, but in more recent years this is slowly changing with manufacturers and retailers removing, or neutralising gender labelling on clothes and on signage in stores.
Manufacturers and retailers, now too numerous to mention, are also making items of clothing more traditionally intended for a single sex for both sexes, while recognising that the key differentiator is not actually our biological sex, but our body shape. Does the term cross-dresser still stand up when the clothes have no gender labels? Maybe not.
All clothing, of whatever shape, colour, texture or style has been worn by both sexes as normal daily wear at some point in history, so why do we have gendered clothing now? Visual communication is one of the many reasons we dress the way we do. Our gender identity is expressed visually through what we wear, as can be our social status or rank within an organisation. Sometimes our visual appearance, what we wear, make-up, hairstyle, skin colour, whether rightly or wrongly, can trigger others around us through our learned and often habituated social conditioning to make a judgement on how they should interact with us. Aside from organisational ranking, we should not treat people differently because of their appearance. Everyone is born equal and should be treated as such. Does what they wear really matter more than their actions and achievements as a person?
In conclusion, the term Cross-dresser is fine for a socially constructed world in which there is a gender binary, but it does not work well in a non-binary world where gender is expressed on a spectrum and where many believe that clothing has no gender to start with. When it comes to the use of the term today, if the logic used to describe a man in "women's" clothes as a crossdresser does not hold when applied to a woman wearing "men's" clothes - it's not logic, it's sexism.
When clothing has no gender there are no lines to "cross", hence no cross-dressing and why we therefore believe that the term cross-dresser is out-dated and should decline in use.
Posted: 27 July 2022
Danish magazine 'BT' brings us an interview with Charoline Wenke and Anders Harder Bjerresgaard, originally published in 'ALT for the ladies' magazine and translated here from Danish via Google Translate.
The article introduces us to the couple and their relationship journey, from their early days exploring Anders' gender fluid fashion style and his passion for high heels to present day, and some of the triumphs and challenges they have encountered along the way. It's not always been easy, but they are both very happy together and want to share their story in the hope that it will inspire others to explore their self-expression too.
Posted: 7 June 2022
Fashion United highlights how more major brands are championing gender-fluid, unisex or polysexual fashions. Broader inclusion and divergence from traditional binary clothing ideas can only lead to greater societal acceptance of self-expressive styles, deconstruction of gender norms and broader availability in the future.
Posted: 3 June 2022
Footwear News reports on Harry Styles (@HarryStyles) appearance at the Sony Brit Awards in 2020 in a "Women's" Suit and heels "for men". Setting aside the gendering of the clothing items, it's a positive thing that we're seeing these red carpet events publicised like they are, but surely it's just a suit and heels? After all, we wouldn't say "Dua Lipa appeared in Men's trousers and heels for women" would we?!
Posted: 28 April 2022
Bruzz interviews Mark Bryan.
“Most people assume that clothes say something about their sexual orientation, and they don’t want to put a label on them that doesn’t fit them.”
“The battle will only have been won when people stop seeing a skirt as uniquely feminine”
Posted: 26 March 2022
The New York Times reports on the trend in Spring 2022 fashion shows which is embracing new ideas about gender and its fluidity in fashion. They ask whether we still get freaked out by men in dresses and skirts because we're still holding on to old power structures? and "Is it seen as somehow disempowering for men to have access to classically female clothes? That it somehow... weakens them, since women are supposedly the 'weaker sex'". They conclude that "the balance of power is shifting. These distinctions are just old historical constructs."
Posted: 1 January 2022
This article from Fashion United reports on the results of a panel discussion organised by the Hetrick-Martin Institute and how the fashion industry needs to adapt to accommodate a rapidly growing demand by the gender non-conforming demographic. How can the shopping experience be enhanced and growth managed in a sustainable way? The article explores the options.
Posted: 4 December 2021
Mens Style Fashion magazine asks whether we will see more feminine fashion in 2021. Women have forever been adopting men’s fashion in attempt to add some elements of masculinity, and we’re now seeing fashion move in the other direction with more feminine items introduced to men’s fashion options. Many men are now reinterpreting themselves, letting more of their vulnerabilities become visible through self-expressive dressing.
In answer to the question, and drawing close to the end of 2021, here at Men’s Heels Revolution we feel that the answer has been an emphatic YES!
Posted: 4 December 2021
This great is a great article by @LandonPeoples for @Refinery29, which quite rightly points out that if you have an issue with men in heels, you really need to take a good hard look in the mirror as maybe that's "a you problem". I can't paraphrase any better, so I'm going to tempt you with a few of the best bits...
"The inquiry has become more of a reflection of the insecurities of those asking it than the actual subjects who wear them."
"A man's interest in style, no matter the color of their shirt or the height of their heel, should not be a litmus test for their masculinity"... "The feat of wearing heels, even a chelsea boot, should be celebrated as an act of bravery."
Great article. Well worth a read.
Posted: 23 November 2021
MyBest ranks the top 10 best heels for men in the UK in 2021. Written in March of this year we can now look back and ask whether higher heels for men have been delivered. The trend is definitely moving in the right direction, and with many styles selling out fast, we can say they have delivered for sure. For some potential buyers though heel heights have still to reach the heights they desire to achieve the fashion aesthetic they desire. Independent shoe creators are still crucial in this area, but the higher heels go in the mainstream, the marginal styles will be sure to follow.
Original URL: https://mybest-gb.uk/10651
Posted: 2 November 2021
In this new video, Karl (@inkarlcerating) takes us through 6 options for styling long boots...
- Oversize T Shirts
- Asymetric Pieces
- Coats & Blazers
...and while high fashion/avant garde styles may not be accessible to everyone, we can certainly take much inspiration from Karl’s suggestions in this awesome video.
Original URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53OteK16Xr0
Posted: 7 August 2021
Metro Newspaper Interviews John Benge (@johnbengemodel). John, unrepentant, quite rightly points out that he's an adult and can wear whatever he wants, regardless of what anyone else says.
Posted: 29 July 2021
This article from The Irish Times explores gender neutral fashion, highlight how London based icon Selfridges introduced Agender, a new brand of gender-neutral clothing and how it desexualises fashion. The article concludes "When all traces of lust are wiped from the equation, when fashion is stripped down to the bare bones, genderless clothing isn't even about the man or the woman wearing it: it's about the person inside. Which is all that should really matter."
Posted: 14 July 2021
This brief article from Genderjelly introduces UK Footwear brand Roker and how they are satisfying demand for gender-neutral footwear styles.
Posted: 14 July 2021
The New York Times explores how we came from Androgyny to a more refined and more widespread understanding of non-binary gender in society. The article highlights non-binary music and movie stars currently in the public eye.
Original URL: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/14/style/nonbinary.html
Posted: 14 July 2021
This article from respected magazine, National Geographic, spotlights an exhibition that celebrates the ways couture blurs the line between men’s and women’s clothing. It hints that social media is helping create communities of people that can influence the way we dress. It asks “who wears the pants?” and charts the rise of women wearing pants, something that can inspire us as we march forward in our heels. The article concludes with a positive message from a member of the LGBTQ community which suggests that our voices may finally be heard and our gender bending fashion seen.
Posted: 17 June 2021
This article from the New York Times reflects upon how people have redefined themselves during lockdown and experimented with the wearing of dresses and other clothing normally considered feminine. Inspired by the appearances on TV of stars such as Kid Cudi and Lil Nas X wearing dresses and skirts people are eschewing gender stereotypes and bringing in a new era where clothing can no longer be considered a “tell” for anything.
Posted: 17 June 2021