Galliano debuted his second RTW collection for Maison Margiela during Fashion week, featuring geisha’s and glam rock models wrapped in cling wrap. Like his Artisanal debut, the line-up for this season’s womenswear collection included not just girls but a handful of boys, courageously walking down the runway on high heels. And like the first time, perhaps we wouldn’t have noticed but for a few obvious, bare masculine chests here and there.
The models blended in with one another perfectly. Galliano is carrying the industries rising interest for gender neutrality forward, as mixed- gender shows are becoming the new norm. Just in January, Gucci debuted their menswear collection under Alessandro Michele, starring women on the runway- an increasing trend in menswear shows.
Gender-bending is nothing new in fashion or pop culture. In the late 1960s young musicians like Mick Jagger and David Bowie often toyed with feminized looks. Today, thanks to a group of contemporary designers- such as Galliano, Rick Owens and J.W. Anderson- this theme of gender-neutral dress has been reimagined.
With the recent developments in menswear, where men are (slowly) breaking free of stereotypical clothing- and the rising interest in unisex clothes under influence of J.W Anderson- Galliano’s timing to add male models to the Maison’s women’s runway line ups, couldn’t have been better. One could say that this statement resembles the evaporating line between male and female, in all sorts of levels of society today: vanity, lifestyle, career and self-image. After all, fashion is an exaggeration of real life, mirroring the spirit of the zeitgeist. But- although gender-bending may be trending on the runways of high-end fashion, it might take a while for it to fully settle in the mainstream market.