Friday, March 18, 2016

Gender Fluid Unisex Models - Guest Post

Guest Post by Cherie Izzo   

Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood

Christian Lacroix, Jean Paul Gaultier, Alexander McQueen and Dame Vivienne Westwood are some of my favorite over the top couturier designers that celebrated taboos.

Last week during fashion week in Paris I noticed 74-year-old Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler her former fashion student, now  husband 25 years her junior, have a line of unisex, genderless garments. The flamboyant line is called “SEXERCISE” by Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler.

Expressive art forms are a family thing for Westwood. In a reflection of her offspring, Agent Provocateur was founded in 1994 by Joseph Corré, their son, now a British lingerie retailer. And Ben Westwood, son of Vivienne and Derek Westwood, is a photographer of erotica.

The 2016 Paris Fashion Week SEXERCISE fall runway collection had gender fluid garments on gender-bending male and female models. It débuted March, 4th, 2016 the same day Mick Jaggers ex-wife, supermodel Jerry Hall married Rupert Murdoch the octogenarian mogul in a Westwood gown.

In the beginning, of the fashion show red velvet caught my eye. It was done in a boat neckline top with raw seams and extra long sleeves; it liquefied flowing into a long ruffled slit skirt worn by a gender fluid androgynous model. I really like this style dress, it can hide flaws and flatter most figures. It's ever so sexy as it moves. They paired it with knee-high yellow and black patterned socks and black suede satin platform boots.

Then velvet was seen again, a few models later, it photographed more as a red-orange shimmering velvet the second time. This time, it was done in a sleeveless, velvet layered toga style dress that had a full-length skirt, cut on the bias. Always a flattering cut. The model again gender fluid, carried a 70's style sack bag with a soft orange pattern on a reddish-orange fabric. The dress was worn with super bright pink flat rubber sole shoes.

Another gender flux male model walked the catwalk. This time, in a tight gathered black leather mini skirt, over textures black and red leggings, while strutting in thigh highs lined Ugg style platform boots.

Mixed in the fashion show were models that walked the runway in duel colored plaid designs. A male model wore a tailored suit jacket paired with a long skirt, a side slit on one side, the other drawstring gathered. It had opposing color patterns. The left side of the jacket was green and blue plaid. The right was yellow and orange plaid. Shortened sleeves revealed an extra long cuffed tailored blue shirt. It had an exaggerated collar height and point length; worn all buttoned up with no tie.

White polka dots were over brown chocolate fabric on a long shirt dress with a gathered skirt worn by a tall guy model. How the models walked in those elevated heavy platform boots, I have no idea.

The finally was a gold lame` a-line v-neck buttoned shirt dress worn with divergent leopard platform boots.


My favorite piece in the collection was an ivory satin cape. The front had an exquisite silver jeweled frog closure. The neckline had a yellow satin collar and matching cuffs embroidered in silver. The cape was worn by an Asian female model walking in ivory platform sandals. It was classic, elegant and simple.

Intriguing how some designers celebrate taboos and are cross-bending genders in their designs along with the models they display them on.  Westwood said she urged more men to wear dresses “Unisex is good for the environment.”

See the entire collection in photos at Vogue Ready to Wear.

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