Fashion is something that is so integral to our identities. For every generation, fashion has been used to defy and challenge mainstream society, and as a result has aided the process of change over time. Yet, the fashion industry and the subsequent pieces that are on the market today do not reflect what many gen-z and millennials desire. I think I can safely speak on behalf of many of my peers and say that fashion in 2022 needs to become more genderless in its outlook. Clothes should be tailored for all different body shapes, allowing for more inclusivity. With all the endless talk of the 2020s being the next ‘roaring twenties’, genderless fashion should be high up on our to-do list to achieve this cultural reputation. Some designers are fueling the fire for the movement, as will be discussed below, and there are emerging brands that are specialising in genderless fashion whilst keeping it sustainable. These two factors will define the future of fashion, but it’s the issue of gender that will be explored here.
In recent years, luxury houses have started to bring gender-neutral lines into their walks. For example, at Milan Fashion Week in early 2020, Kaia Gerbier was seen in an iconic long leopard skin fur coat that was also worn by male models on the same runway too. Donatella Versace herself stated at the show that today ‘there is a generation that doesn’t care about gender’. Indeed, this ethos can also be illustrated in Stella McCartney’s Shared collection that is completely gender neutral, and if you pardon the pun, completely shared between all people of different gender identities. In their Spring/Summer collection of 2021, Louis Vuitton also included gender neutral pieces. The trend seems to be taking hold of the world of high fashion but is yet to be appropriated by some of the more traditional houses like Chanel and Dior.
Photograph: Virgil Abloh showcases men in traditional womenswear, walking for Louis Vuitton’s Spring/Summer 2021 collection.
It is no surprise then that in December 2021, the BFC confirmed that London Men’s Fashion Week 2022 was officially cancelled. The London Fashion Week has finally moved beyond an exclusive male-female agenda to reflect the growing number of people who do not neatly fall into the category of being male or female. In a survey carried out in 2017, it was reported that 6.9% of British people identify as non-binary, a statistic which will only continue to increase as people become more comfortable deviating from the two-dimensional binary opposition of gender. As the number of people identifying with different gender identities increases then, fashion must and will change to accommodate the rise in demand.
Several independent designers have started to create their own fashion lines that are completely gender neutral. Emeerree is a small business that specialises in gender neutral clothing, selling clothes are that currently trending like crop tops and low waisted joggers and jeans. They are not based in the U.K but they do offer shipping worldwide at reasonable prices. Furthermore, Chantellelucyl is a British brand that offers gender neutral clothing closer to home but at slightly higher prices. Offering a range of products from lingerie to bodysuits to tops, this brand is definitely worth checking out. As someone who prefers to dress in a gender-neutral way, it is comforting for me and many others to be able to buy clothes that are not labelled as womenswear.
2022 is the first year where we have the most normality we have had since before the beginning of the pandemic. With more social occasions on the rise- and more importantly more runways to come- what people are wearing is under more limelight than ever before. In the new post-lockdown era of the roaring twenties, expect to see genderless clothing on offer and on more people than before.