Society in general likes to categorise the things we encounter in life, 'male' and 'female' are simple examples of this. I'm no specialist in human behavior but to me it appears that when the lines are blurred, society becomes a little unsure on quite how to deal with an individual or certain situation that cannot immediately be categorised.
My parents raised me to be open-minded and to not pre-judge people or situations I find myself in. This upbringing is, I believe, one of the reasons I love fashion so much. Fashion consistently pushes many boundaries - including more recently the subject of gender definition.
This is shown with models such as the stunning Andrea Pejić, a male model that has walked both the men and women's shows for Jean-Paul Gaultier and the men's shows for Marc Jacobs. Andre is so beautiful that he ranked no 98 in FHM's sexiest women in the world in 2011. His most memorable appearance for me was during the 2001 Jean-Paul Gaultier couture collection in 2011.
Andrea is just one of many models that walk catwalks as both a male and a female and for me, the models gender is irrelevant if they show the design as beautifully as possible.
The catwalk walk isn't the only place that's blurring the gender lines. Recently I was reading an article on men increasing wearing leggings, with celebrities such as Russell Brand driving the trend. On the subject of 'meggings', there is one piece of advice I would like to offer men who fancy trying them, please be sure to wear a top that covers your 'bits'...
Yves Saint Laurent has noticed the blurring of the gender gap and also that men are increasingly wanting to improve their appearance beyond their wardrobe. To meet this requirement YSL have introduced the L'Homme makeup range for men. Products currently include concealers and highlighters but I predict other products such as clear mascara may soon be added to such a collection. A number of my male friends already wear these products on an almost daily basis and to be honest, they look all the better for it.
It's not only the boys de-categorising society's perception of gender when it comes to fashion. Models such as Casey Legler are widely known for modeling male collections. Casey looks so good in male clothes that she was signed to leading agency Ford Models men's division after being cast as a man by a photographer friend. Casey has since gone on to feature in men's campaigns for fashion brands such All Saints.
Image Credit - Ford Models
Fashion is about creativity, making a statement and being unique. It offers us a simple way to let the world know what we believe and provides us with an ability to communicate a message in a medium that few other industries' can rival.
It's clear that fashion is altering the messaging of gender and that that people are increasingly choosing to wear clothes no longer specific to a given gender - as such it's becoming increasingly difficult for society to categorize fashion by gender alone.
Models are clearly using this to their advantage to secure modeling contracts regardless of gender but it will be interesting to see how brands, retailers and designers respond to these changes in gender definition.