16 May 2011
Unisex: Androgyny is the future?
Gender definition doesn’t only refer to the sexual identity of an individual, it’s the social and cultural meaning linked to females and males, the way a person should behave based on their sex. Gender is not something we are born with, it is taught.
“Gender is learnt through a process of socialisation and through the culture of a particular society concerned. In many cultures, boys are encouraged in the acts considered to display male traits (and girls vice versa) through the toys given to children (guns for boys, dolls for girls), the kind of discipline meted out, the jobs or careers to which they might aspire and the portrayal of men and women in the media. Children learn their gender from birth.” (Wallace and March, 1991)
We grow up with these ideas set by society. A good example are the toys children play with, in toy stores there are aisles for girls and aisles for boys. Dolls, barbies and different kinds of objects for future mums and housewives. Boy’s aisles are filled with cars, war soldiers… I think this says a lot about the gender roles society is defining to our children.
In fashion, the rules from the past are being erased through creativity and innovation, it intrepertates the passed fashion statements and re-constructs them into new concepts. It’s about innovation and going forward, and for that past images history is used. We see fashion coming and going, is a cycle that redefines itself season by season.
We have been dividing men and women, categorising and organising human social relations in this way, fashion as well.
Should we be free to combine and transform in any way we want femininity and masculinity? Picturing the future with a highly diverse society, is that where we are heading?
“Androgyny is a term, derived from the Greek words άνδρoς (andros, meaning man) and γυνή (gyné, meaning woman) referring to the combination of masculine and feminine characteristics. ”
Throughout fashion history, female and male fashion lines have been crossing for decades, blurring the boundaries between genders, setting up a new dialectic, the harmony of both genders, perhaps in most cases as a counter movement.
At recent fashion shows, models are becoming more androgynous, males look more feminine and females more masculine.
Mainstream brands like American Apparel and Urban Outfitters, offer clothes and jewellery for either men or women. American Apparel has around 700 unisex items.
Marc Jacobs on the cover of Industries.
The American fashion brand Calvin Klein is based around the concept of androgyny, youth, and minimalism. The slogan for CK one unisex fragrance said “We are One”.
In Japan men are using skirts over their jeans, they are “skirt men” . The skirts are really simple and there’s no excessive decorations. They look more like aprons and are becoming increasingly popular in Tokyo. An online shop called Cross Gender opened in February.
In my point of view the difference between men and women performing in society is gradually disappearing, we are heading to an Era where gender will not be relevant, men and women roles will have no disctintion. The androgynous blends the masculine and feminine qualities in such way that will not allow confusion regarding the sexual identity of each person.
In the future I believe that men and women will change their behaviour by developing within, through a process of inner improvement that will lead men and women to see themselves as a whole unit.
And an image of man model Andrej Pejic