One of the truly wonderful things about the fashion industry is the way in which it reflects society, and how society is changing. In an age in which masculinity and femininity are becoming terms which any person of any gender can adopt and remodel for their own purposes, it’s not surprising to see fashion designers, cosmetic labels and magazines adapting to reflect this.
Recently, Covergirl, a US cosmetics label, featured their first ever male campaign model. James Charles is a 17 year old makeup artist, using social media platforms such as Youtube and Snapchat to showcase his art. With nearly 800,000 followers on Instagram, it’s not surprising that big makeup brands would be keen to make him the face of their label, despite his gender.
It’s clear to see that throughout the fashion world, the boundaries of what men and women should or shouldn’t wear are breaking down. Big name brands such as Prada and Gucci have created non-binary collections, their runways featuring both male and female models treading the catwalk. Androgyny seems to be replacing the categories of ‘Men’ and ‘Women’ in fashion, reflecting the societal change in which people are seeming to treat gender constructs as more flexible than at any other point in recent history.
It could be argued that perhaps this androgyny could have been simply used in order to shock audiences at live shows, to create something different for the media to pick up on. If this were the case though, then surely these tactics would disappear now that the runways have been packed away? With houses such as Christian Louboutin having recently posted photographs on Instagram featuring both a male and female models sporting more-or-less identical pairs of dreamy brogues though, it would appear not. The famous red soled shoes looked just as fetching on the female model as they did on the male model – the green velvet truly bringing out his tan.
So, is fashion becoming less and less non-binary because society is? It certainly has nothing to lose in doing so, and perhaps more people will now feel more confident in wearing clothes and make up that they’d previously been told were not for them.
[Grace Michael – @gracemichael925]