Has fashion’s obsession with androgyny gone too far?
We’ve all seen it. It’s inescapable. But this androgyny-obsession is surely a sign that the fashion industry is confused. Fashion has always been about clothes and, alright, a little bit of appreciation of the female and male forms. Although fashion is still about clothes, designers seem to be drifting away from the traditional. It may be interesting and might sell clothes but is it acceptable?
Take Andrej Pejic, a 19-year old rising Serbian star; a country where the men are tough and it’s not safe for women to go out at night. It’s puzzling then, that this man started dressing like a girl from an early age. Google him. Now, don’t worry if you feel attracted to this person. He’s a more attractive woman than most women and a more attractive man than most men. Whilst this may be unfair for females and confusing for males, it’s all part of a rapidly self re-inventing fashion industry. Pejic describes himself, in one word, as ‘promiscuous’. It’s unclear who he’s been promiscuous with, so let’s just assume he’s talking abstractly about how many designers he’s worked with.
Lea T, born Leandro Cerezo the son of a retired Brazilian World Cup footballer, is a phenomenon. She is the only openly transsexual model and this seems to have enhanced her success. She recently made the cover of LOVE magazine and in doing so, became the first non trilby-wearer to kiss Kate Moss. She includes, amongst her lesser achievements, starring for Givenchy alongside an albino. The word ‘diversity’ comes to mind. But it’s not just the fashion industry that’s obsessed with unusual specimens. Lady Gaga has sold millions of records in just a few years, a success not based purely on music as proven by ‘Born this way’, her latest single.
Okay, we all know Freja Beha Erichsen. She was arguably the most successful model of 2010 and while she may appear pretty normal compared to Lea and Andrej, she’s also one of the new breed. She’s constantly dressed in men’s clothes by designers. That is, when she’s not topless. But it doesn’t really matter that she’s topless because she’s got the upper body of an 11-year old girl. Her beauteous masculinity also sometimes borders on feral unkemptness, making her something of an oxymoron. Not so normal after all.
It appears that before long we’ll be hunting down aliens on Mars, bringing them back to Earth to parade on our catwalks. The fashion industry just isn’t a place for humans any more. Of course we love it, but everybody loved Elizabeth Taylor. It didn’t feel wrong to love her.
R. N. Bryant