Thursday, April 15, 2010

Conflicting Hegemony

by Sam Shaw

by Tommy Ton of

The concept of androgynous fashion has been largely ignored, marginalized, and criticized over the past two centuries. While most contemporary theorists suppose that the idea of androgynous dressing is an idealist concept at best, history shows that androgynous fashion is neither a new concept, nor an unexpressed contemporary aesthetic. In current French fashion, androgynous fashions are becoming increasingly relevant, as designers such as John Galliano, Stephano Pilati, and Jean Paul Gaultier present androgynous-leaning styles. Furthermore, androgyny is more and more evident in the streets of Paris, as both men and women adopt gender-neutral garb.

The connection between androgynous style and the masculine hegemony is particularly interesting when considered in the context of contemporary French “high” fashion and Parisian street style. The bilateral occurrence of an androgynous trend indicates the presence of societal reflection on conceptions of gender, sexuality,
and the male hegemony. In the twenty-first century, men’s and women’s fashions have become nearly interchangeable, leading one to question if, after centuries of sexualized clothing, we have arrived at a period of de-sexualization, as evidenced by a new form of androgynous dressing.

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