Androgyny in fashion—the idea of dressing by how one feels comfortable rather than by society’s gender stereotypes—is a constantly recurring theme. The evolution of androgyny in 20th-century fashion spans Chanel’s and Poiret’s early masculine silhouettes for women, the 1930s’ and 40s’ independent women Marlene Dietrich and Katharine Hepburn donning suits and pants, Yves St. Laurent’s Le Smoking collection and the emancipated women of the 1960s and 70s. Dandy men of the 1960s, following their 18th, 19th, and early 20th century brethren, transformed from drab to debonair in makeup, long hair and gender-neutral silhouettes. David Bowie’s profound impact on androgyny pushed boundaries then and continues to influence modern fashion.
In the 1980s, notable pop icons Prince and Boy George boldly embraced effeminacy, while Grace Jones and Annie Lennox ‘power dressed’ in sharp structured suits and close-cropped hair. Avant-garde designers Yohji Yamamoto and Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo celebrated androgyny as a design aesthetic. The 90s brought Kurt Cobain frequently wearing tulle prom dresses and a tiara onstage, flouting the macho norm.
This week we are gender-bending our vintage parade: Dietrich’s tuxedos and top hats, David Bowie-worthy maxi dresses, feathers and furs à la Hendrix, Kate Hepburn’s favorite trousers and collared shirts, Annie Hall-style vests, ties and floppy hats, non-binary suits, poet blouses, gender-fluid spandex and stiletto heels from Prince’s closet, kilts and cloaks, and even the everyman’s/woman’s uniform of a simple T-shirt and jeans!View the Parade Now