Gender and Fashion

“We live in a world where Facebook and Google+ have introduced “infinite” gender options for users, trans models like Andreja Pejic and Hari Nef are burning up the runway; and designers like Hood by Air and Telfar break new ground in fashion every day. Is it any wonder that walking into a store and only heading for your gender-assigned aisle is starting to feel a little passé?” (Dazed, 2015.) Although certain characteristics have always been associated with the traditional idea of the man and the woman; gender fluidity is becoming more prominent in the modern-day world in fashion art and design.In recent years, the fashion industry has started to engage in an important and long-overdue conversation about gender; how brands are starting to use non-binary and transgender models on the runway and designers are producing gender fluid items of clothing – therefore changing the spaces that consumers shop in.

In 2015, Selfridges created a small pop up shop that attempted to create a space where men and women could shop regardless of their gender. “For a department store, that’s very revolutionary. You still go up to the children department and everything is still segregated by pink and blue, boys and girls. This concept’s really about breaking down those boundaries… As someone that wants to buy the clothes in this space, you’re going to have to work hard to understand it.” ( Dazed, 2015).  The designer used overpowering large scale papier mâché sculptures dipped in a washed out candy pink , moulded into gender natural shapes. Within the space there are no brands present or men and women’s directional signs, gender neutral changing rooms, blurring the social and political boundaries within gender. All sold clothes were bagged in white cases made from artistic canvas, with a small slit running down the middle to offer a peek of the inside and all accessories sold were packaged in neutral white boxes.

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References

Dazed (2015) “Inside Selfridges’ radical, gender-neutral department store.”  http://www.dazeddigital.com/fashion/article/24088/1/inside-selfridges-radical-gender-neutral-department-store . (accessed: 27.04.17)

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