In the year Hollywood actor Brad Pitt stole the show at the Berlin premiere of his 2022 film Bullet Train in July when he arrived in a brown linen shirt paired with a brown shirt. However, he received both flak and support for his fashion choices. While some criticized his disheveled, unkempt appearance, others praised him for wearing a dress.
This isn’t the first time the two-time Academy Award winner has played with gendered fashion lenses. In the 1990s, he was ahead of his time, making a case for androgynous fashion by appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine wearing mini body-hugging dresses. A lot of times.
In recent times, the flag bearers of androgynous style – Ranveer Singh, Jim Sarb, Ayushmann Khurrana, Harry Styles, Justin Bieber and Billy Porter – often wear brightly colored clothes, dresses and jewelry such as pearls, gowns and nose rings. press release.
Modern Western trends have introduced gender agnostic fashion like jeans, jackets, shirts, t-shirts, etc. and high fashion has led to mass adaptation of fashion trends worldwide.
Also Read: Interview: Ustaaz Amjad Ali Khan, Sarod Maestro: ‘I see great interest among the youth to learn classical music’
But today’s fashion inspiration has strong roots in cultures. Even before western trends took over, national dresses of various nations around the world were gender agnostic and all about comfort.
It’s a reminder that Pitt’s Scottish-inspired traditional attire for the premiere has always been very androgynous in nature. In the 16th century, a rolled-up knee-length skirt called a kilt, worn by men on formal occasions, came into fashion. Today, it has also become part of informal clothing, and is even considered women’s clothing for certain sporting events in that part of the world.
Traditional dresses like dutis and kurta pajamas in India have always been gender agnostic. In fact, designer Tarun Tahiliani feels that many Indian prints are also gender fluid and can work for both men and women. “Indian fashion was very gender fluid, but we fell into the Western structure. We have to be easy on ourselves. In our culture, we have always been accepted by all genders,” says Tahiliani.
Designer Anju Modi feels it can be very stylish. “One can wear a white kurta with palazzo pants and look modern Indian. Women also wear a straight shirt kurta with short capri pants. It looks good as a day wear,” says Modi.
The African island of Madagascar has men and women who wear the same traditional dress called a lamba, a rectangular piece wrapped around the body. Similarly, Japan’s flowing national dress, the kimono, is worn by both men and women, while in China, the country’s national dress, the qipao, has the same design for both men and women.
However, as androgynous or unisex becomes fashionable again, several labels are emerging and marketing themselves. Globally, brands like Telfar, Wells Bonner and Big Bud Press have made a mark. In India, Jaywalking, Human, Almost Gods, Kanika Goyal label, Dhruv Kapoor have gender fluidity.
Indian brand Antar Agnim stands out for its androgynous styles. In the year Ujjawal Dubey, founder of the label, who debuted his first collection at Lakme Fashion Week in 2014, says, “Our society is becoming more progressive because it has gained a lot of acceptance in the last few years. As a result, androgynous and gender fluid fashion is now making its presence felt more than ever. This is because people want to be free. Secondly, wearability and simplicity is the second big reason for the popularity of fluid fashion. We spent most of last year in pajamas and while this may continue for a while, people want to wear them now. Wearability has been our key guideline since the brand’s inception.
Menswear designer Kunal Rawal recently showcased his collection ‘Dear Men’ at the FDCI India Couture Week 2022. According to Rawal, he drew inspiration from the cultural and traditional influences prevalent in India. The collection offers everything from modern luxury to traditional traditional wear. A believer in androgynous and gender-fluid pieces, Rawal explored design sensitivities free from gender stereotypes—making fluidity the new normal.
Gender-fluid fashion should also be free from a distorted color palette, says designer Sunit Varma. “I think gender fluidity is more of a lifestyle and I don’t think it should have a color palette. It should be something that feels comfortable on your skin; Something that makes you feel happy and alive—with a full ‘live and let live’ attitude,” he says.