Since the beginning of time, fashion has been used to make a statement. It embodies personalities, movements, and even ideals way beyond it becoming the industry we know of today. But one of its definitive functions — at least decades ago — was to separate the male silhouette from the female's. This all changed when suffragettes decided to wear trousers in the 1800s in their quest for equal rights, and thus igniting the fire for the many fashion revolutions that brought us to today's scene.
Now, gender-fluid garbs are taking centre stage. Evolving from androgynous looks that balance elements of masculinity and femininity or the lack of both to produce a non-binary aesthetic, gender-fluid fashion is its bolder cousin. As its name suggests, it completely embraces and shifts between male and female silhouettes whenever one pleases, regardless of sexual identity.
It's also worth noting that gender-fluid fashion differs from drag in the sense that people don't make personas when wearing gender-fluid outfits. Simply put, it's when a man wearing a dress without anyone batting an eyelash in a way that women of today can wear trousers the way they please.
One of the biggest explosions in gender-fluid fashion happened in 2016 with Japan's 'Genderless Kei' trend. Pushing the boundaries of gender conformity to make a statement against homophobia and transphobia in the country, idols and online personalities took the movement mainstream as an encouragement to the youth. This was later on embraced in the West. Celebrities like Billy Porter, Ezra Miller, Jaden Smith, Ruby Rose, and Tilda Swinton nail this side of fashion completely, sporting stunning gender-bending looks on various occasions.
But what might be the most riveting aspect of gender-fluid fashion is its idea of freedom in self-expression. Regardless of one's own sexual preferences, gender-fluid fashion invites people to break the mould. In fact, it also makes a statement on how fashion should be comfortable and practical, much like the protest done in 2017 by English schoolboys who wore skirts to school when told that they couldn't wear shorts despite the peak of the summer heat.
If our primer got you intrigued — and even swayed — by the idea of gender-fluid fashion, we say why not give it a try? Whether you're an LGBTQ fashionista or an ally who wants to know how liberating gender-fluid fashion can be, we've got just the brands to check out for your wardrobe overhaul.
With the Met Gala making Camp a big mood this 2019, why not go the extra mile with your gender-fluid style by going for maximalist cuts and designs? Founded by Italian-Japanese fashion designer (and renowned Lady Gaga collaborator) Nicola Formicetti, Nicopanda serves street-style-meets-couture with their array of pieces lined with tulle, bold graphics, and just lots and lots of colour. Following their limitless aesthetic is their brand ethos, which states that they are "designed for all and available to all." If you don't want to skimp out on being brazen, this label is definitely for you.
Established in 2005, Telfar is one of the earliest brands to offer a unisex selection even before it was 'cool'. With looks that range from casual to edgy to downright crisp and business-like, the brand has continuously made waves in the past couple of New York Fashion Weeks with their gritty pieces and audio-visual runway allure. But apart from their compelling visuals, most of Telfar's pieces are surprisingly versatile to play around with, making them a great fit for your already existing wardrobe.
Straightforwardly made to be enjoyed and worn by all, One DNA is one's gender-neutral basics fantasy. The label's clean, minimalist and monochromatic style not only falls into some of today's biggest trends in fashion, but they also take pride in their assistive service. This allows customers to reach out to them via email to ask for styling and sizing advice to ensure that they make the most out of their not-so-basic and gender-neutral picks from the brand.
Trendy and made to be donned by all, this Vietnamese brand has been an online favourite amongst couples and friends who want to break free from wearing your usual twinning outfits. Mostly taking inspiration from edgier, grungier, and sometimes utilitarian accents and graphics, their range of choices ensures that you'll never run out of outfit inspirations.
As it reads on their Instagram account, Genderfree World is all about creating clothes that are more focused on fit and comfort rather than gender conformity. Those who want to check out their products get to choose from their four button-down types (with an extensive size range) and other various garments tailored for varying physical assets. We're talking versatile gender-fluid top that still accommodates your bosoms, boxers that take into account whether you have a package or not, and more. Cool, right?
Next, do you have these sustainable fashion brands on your radar?