Gender-Fluid Fashion Brands You Need To Check Out, Stat! | Clozette


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. 


Nicopanda



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. 



Telfar Global



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. 


One DNA



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. 



Son Min



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. 


Genderfree World



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? 


(Cover photo from: @nicopanda)


Next, do you have these sustainable fashion brands on your radar? 


READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC


 


These days, great style inspiration is literally just at our fingertips and that, in theory, you're always just a few taps away from discovering your next fashion muse. But that's not really the case, is it? Social media is littered with noise, and finding good, unique content is ironically harder than ever. To help you sift through the digital pile, we created a list of ladies whose style caught our eye. From rising actresses to emerging fashion influencers, keep reading to get to know these up-and-coming style icons.


Elle Fanning



We know, it's strange to think of Elle Fanning as an up-and-coming style icon when the actress first had her screen debut decades ago at age two. But arguably, the 21-year-old is just now coming into her own brand of style and it's blowing us away. From showing up at Cannes Festival wearing envy-worthy ensembles like the pastel pink pantsuit to her cute casual looks, Elle Fanning is proving to be a style icon in the making.


Sadie Sink



Stranger Things breakout star Sadie Sink was introduced to us as a second lead, but the actress is now making a name for herself and growing a solid fanbase of her own. She kickstarted 2019 on a good note by starring in Kate Spade New York's Spring/Summer 2019 campaign. And in red carpet events and fashion weeks this year, she's spotted wearing unforgettable eccentric ensembles. We're excited to see her fashion evolution as she grows into a young lady. She's truly one to watch out for!


bestdressed



YouTuber Ashley of the channel BestDressed is one of the promising fashion influencers these days. Amassing an impressive following — bordering on two million now — in just a few years, Ashley is on a steady path towards style stardom. Her videos consist of the traditional lookbooks, how-to style tips and some personal lifestyle content.


Waikei Tong



With a feed full of fresh, colourful looks, it's no surprise that Waikei's following has doubled since her New York days back in 2016. Aside from getting some serious style inspiration from her cute and carefree outfits, her Instagram can also serve as a mini travel guide for discovering the most Instagrammable spots in various destinations.



Sophia Roe



Discover fresh spins on the minimalistic style by following Sophia Roe. Based in the idyllic city of Copenhagen, stylist Sophia posts about details of her style and general minimalist aesthetic. But what separates her feed from other minimalist-themed ones is the experimentation with elements from other more flamboyant aesthetics while still maintaining that crisp, sleek feel we all love.


(Cover photo from: @waikeezy)


Next, discover sustainable fashion brands from the Philippines.


READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC


 


The concept of cultural appropriation is always difficult to discuss. Unlike racism or sexism, which are often blatant and done with obvious malice, an offence that results from the act of cultural appropriation frequently sparks a debate rather than a straightforward verdict. With the exception of overt inappropriate practices such as wearing a traditional national dress as a costume and doing a heavy foreign accent while doing so, most instances of cultural appropriation are subtle and can feel ambiguous for most. 



In the fashion industry, the discourse is louder than ever. Many labels have been called out for and accused of cultural appropriation, but the sentiment is never unanimous. It's always an issue of whether someone is just taking inspiration from another culture or is simply stealing and disrespecting its collective identity. The latest label to be on the hot seat is the house of Carolina Herrera. 


Their Resort 2020 collection, made by newly minted Creative Director Wes Gordon, feature several designs carrying motifs that are said to directly stem from the Mexican culture. Admittedly, the brand has said that the collection is indeed a "tribute to the richness of Mexican culture". But the government of Mexico doesn't see it that way and has accused the fashion house of inappropriate usage of indigenous Mexican patterns and designs. 


In a letter addressed to the fashion house (originally published by Spanish publication El País), the Cultural Director of Mexico cited the white dress with the "brightly coloured animal embroideries that intertwine with flowers and branches," which she said is from the "community of Tenango de Doria," as one of the examples of cultural appropriation that's apparent in the collection. As of now, the house of Carolina Herrera has yet to release a statement on what reparations or additional actions would be done in response to the Mexican government's accusation. 



We all know that this is not the first time that a fashion label was called out for cultural appropriation. From the infamous Marc Jacobs dreadlocks controversy in his Spring/Summer 2017 show to Gucci's Turban piece, the industry is littered with insensitive practices. Despite this, the debate on whether using elements from another culture can be considered stealing or be passed as homage is still alive.


In a creative industry where you need to churn out new ideas every season, it can't really be avoided to take inspiration from other cultures — especially in the digital age. But designers shouldn't just take inspiration or 'pay tribute'  to a culture, they should also include members of the culture they're taking inspiration from as part of the conversation.  


(Cover photo from: @wesgordon)


READ MORE ON THIS TOPIC