Fashion is always evolving. It’s an industry that’s in constant flux as trends, styles and new creative ideas emerge. The rise of the internet alongside the popularity of social media platforms and new, growing online communities has meant that fashion is moving forward and evolving faster than ever. And as fashion has always been, to some degree, about self-expression and identity, it’s no surprise that the shifting landscape of gender is having an impact.
In this article, we’ll explore how gender fluidity is influencing urban fashion, and how the industry is opening its doors to become more gender diverse.
Read on to find out more.
What’s gender fluid fashion?
Gender Fluid fashion (also known as non-binary or gender-neutral fashion) is a type of fashion that doesn’t conform to traditional rules or thoughts about masculine and feminine styles. This clothing is created and designed to be worn by all genders and is marketed as such. This differs from the normal structure of how clothing has been designed and made for centuries, as it allows people to find clothing that isn’t designed for the ‘general’ body type of a gender and allows them to find styles of clothing that they couldn’t fit into before.
While in the past, fashion shows and retail stores may have had separate menswear and womenswear collections, with gender fluid fashion they are one and the same.
What spurred its creation?
While it can be easy to think that gender fluid fashion is a recent trend, it’s actually existed for centuries. During the era of the Renaissance, especially for the aristocratic class, men and women wore very similar styles of garments. In fact, separating clothing by male and female (as we know it today) wasn’t common practice until industrialisation.
In the 1960s there was an incredible amount of gender fluid styles and outfits. The music scene had a huge impact on this, with androgyny coming to the fore. Both David Bowie and Jimi Hendrix are fantastic examples of music artists who really embraced fluidity when it came to their fashion and experimented with different looks in a way not seen prior. While in the 80s, punk and goth scenes saw skinny ripped jeans and dramatic romantic looks that pushed the boundaries of what people wore.
Another period for fashion fluidity was the 1990s. This was the era of low-rise jeans and baggy cargo pants. The celebrities and musical artists of the time were definitely leading the way, with Aaliyah’s Street style and Kurt Cobain wearing a dress.
Gender Fluid fashion today
As conversations both online and in person, open up new worlds for people to feel free to be themselves, gender fluid fashion is more prevalent than ever before. This is leading to a more inclusive and diverse fashion industry, where clothing is truly meant to express the wearer, their style, how they feel, and who they are — both inside and out.
And while gender fluid fashion has had an impact on urban fashion, it is more often than not the other way around. What individuals wear day-to-day, and what they share on their social media platforms, is having an impact on the industry in general, and influencing even some of the most traditional design houses. Celebrities like Billie Eilish and Harry Styles perform in gender neutral styles, and creative individuals from across backgrounds are able to share their gender-neutral looks and designs online.
It is important to remember that being gender fluid is still a rather new concept for many people to learn. It goes further than just the clothes they choose to wear however it plays a very large part. Regardless of their pronouns, the way they express themselves through fashion will evolve and change with the more they get to know themselves.
It will be interesting to see how gender fluid fashion continues to evolve over the years, but it’s certainly here to stay.