Fashion Design

The Gender-Bending and Cultural Appropriation of the 2015 European Menswear Collections The fashion industry is fascinating right now, because it sits at a precipice. The impact of the internet, an oversaturated global market, and a weak economy have left many brands and designers disoriented. Many time-honored labels can’t figure out how to play the game, since all the rules seem to have changed. Unfortunately, this world is still filled with men who are so self-conscious of their own rigid masculinity they are filled with resentment and panic when they just see a guy actively challenge gender norms. So it was interesting to see that Gucci, one of the largest luxury brands in the world, would recast their brand with outrageously effeminate bohemian looks that might derogatorily be described as “sissy.” This Gucci remodel comes by way of newly instated creative director and Gucci veteran Alessandro Michele. The iconic Italian brand’s change in direction echoes a similar move made by Spanish leather house Loewe lead by fashion wunderkind J.W. Anderson. Both Anderson and Michele have discarded notions of conventional masculinity and are unapologetic for their non-heteronormative fashion. For Fall 2015 Gucci showcased silk ruffled blouses on long-haired waifish boys, while Loewe’s lookbook suggested a gay couple on vacation. Make of it what you will, but the fact that two of the largest luxury conglomerates (Kering owns Gucci, LVMH owns Loewe) are giving so much visibility to a previously underrepresented type of consumer is a sure sign of society’s progressive attitudes. For fall/winter 2015, the mantle of the “sissy” has become fashion’s boldest statement. Read more

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