Friday, 5 August 2011

Androgyny: But Mainly the Models

Something that has been in style in fashion for a number of years now is androgyny. Do I completely understand it? No. Do I think it’s one of the most commercially appealing trends? No. But, do I think it works? Yes.

For modern designers, I can understand sending androgynous models down the catwalk. A model that isn’t ultra feminine and more androgynous will (and this sounds bad) let the garment wear her. Feel free to argue with me here, but I feel as though a more androgynous model is usually more of a mannequin than say, a Miranda Kerr (although that’s also the difference between high fashion and being a Victoria’s Secret angel, I guess). There is nothing in the way of the garment and nothing that truly pulls your gaze from the designs themselves.

This of course is not to say, that androgynous models are not beautiful. Supermodel An Oost is a very beautiful and visibly stunning woman, she is also has a very androgynous look when she is photographed.

The one thing that I do understand and what truly makes me appreciate this trend, is that it’s opening doors for transgender models like Lea T, on catwalks and in front of cameras. Fashion is a daunting place for models that are not transgender, I can only imagine what it must be like for transgender models, especially right out of the gates.

Once again, not saying that all transgender women look masculine or manly, but they certainly fit into the androgynous look that designers are drifting more towards.

I love the faces of many androgynous models; they have facial construction that is top notch. I can understand why they photograph so beautifully, with cheekbones that could cut steel, but the soft femininity of the pouty lips. It’s an attitude that models strive to pull off on a daily basis in front of a photographer, but comes to naturally to those who have the facial composition to pull it off.

With menswear moving into womenswear rapidly, it’s easier for designers to let their clothing hang off of their models as well. For example, Alexander Wang’s ready-to-wear line tends to drift toward the androgynous look with his styling of the models, as he has a very casual and organic niche. An ultra pretty girl, with a feminine face would not match his aesthetic.

I think that we can safely say that the boom in androgynous modeling is going to be staying around for a while, as it has leaked into the mainstream fashion world. With the popularity of pixie cuts booming, and the popularity of undercuts growing, androgyny is quickly moving through the entire fashion world, straight down to commercial fashion; and I don’t have a problem with it.

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