A short historical reminder is necessary.
At all times men have put on make-up. In the time of King Louis XIV, they put white powder on the face and red on the cheeks. At the court of Louis XVIII, it was indispensable to be noticed by the king and appearing more handsome and more aristocratic.
In the past, the boyish style of Coco Chanel in 1915 was a revolution and liberation; the Yves Saint Laurent women’s tuxedo, or the men’s skirt at Dior had already jostled the genres.
In 1971, David Bowie was scandalous about the album cover “Hunky Dory,” where he appears makeup. The years pass, the mores change, and in 1973 he is elected the best dressed British, while the makeup for men is not yet usual.
Ashley Clarke in Mr. Porter article Why Makeup For Men Might Soon Be A Grooming Essential finds an origin in some parts of Asia, where makeup is a normal part of life for young men, driven mainly by celebrity culture and the loosening of traditional norms of masculinity, especially in the movie industry. These influences are slowly arriving in the West, but many men still have a big hang-up about wearing makeup. What about today?
L’Observatoire Des Transidentités (Observatory of Trans Identities) with Karine Solene Espineira in her article Non-binary genres on the Internet and Facebook, reports that it is increasingly known that a minority of the population is transgender, in the sense that the person does not identify with the gender ‘assigned to birth’ from the appearance of its organs genitals, but rather as the other option of the two commonly accepted genres that we find on our administrative documents.
They feel both man and woman, sometimes in the middle; a ‘mix’; ‘Of variable gender’ depending on the circumstances, the day, the year … even some have the impression of being completely foreigners to all that and to be ‘without genre.’
The term ‘genderqueer’ is sometimes seen as an umbrella term (broad, grouping many identities, similar to non-binary), sometimes as an identity in itself (with the emphasis on being ‘other’ by compared to binary genres).
One of this trend website is genderqueerid.com
For Les Bons Détails (The good details), the No Gender is not a light trend but an underground movement that is gradually gaining momentum thanks to the millennials that advocate a freer fashion and a more individualized style. No provocation, no claim, but a desire to be oneself and exceptionally comfortable. The taste is more important than the genre.
GQ journalist Rachel Tashjian in her article 2019 Is the Year Men Will Start Wearing Skirts remembers us that Kanye West who performed in a Givenchy kilt in 2012, wrote in Paper that it’s how he knew he was a fashion insider: “When you sit down with Riccardo Tisci at the Louvre, and he pitches the idea of you wearing a leather kilt, which could be considered by all of your gangbanging friends as some dress or skirt, at that point you are now a part of the fashion world.”
As Sander Lak said in his interview with GQ’s Noah Johnson, “straight men are sort of confused about who they are, what they are, and how they stand—the solution, maybe, is wearing a pink fur jacket because that shows another side.
Today, Noyoco in Paris is a perfect example. The brand mixes masculine and feminine codes and creates a neutral look that leaves room for everyone’s personality.
GQ journalist Rachel Tashjian shows that Maison Margiela is also promoting gender-neutral silhouettes in its last fashion show.
That’s maybe why Christian Allaire in Vogue reports that Billy Porter On Why He Wore a Gown, Not a Tux, to the Oscars.
The custom creation by designer Christian Siriano included a sharply tailored tuxedo jacket overtop a full-skirted strapless velvet gown – « I grew up loving fashion, but there was a limit to how I could express myself. When you’re black, and you’re gay, one’s masculinity is in question. Now I’m in a space where, being on Pose, I’m invited to red carpets, and I have something to say through clothes. My goal is to be a walking piece of political art every time I show up. To challenge expectations. I dared to push the status quo. I was inspired [this past New York Fashion Week] because there’s a conversation happening about inclusion and diversity. I’m not a drag queen; I’m a man in a dress. «. This tells us a lot.
Jacob Gallagher, in the Wall Street Journal, asks: Who Needs Gender? Why Men and Women Are Dressing Identically.
For him, Unisex style is rising and separates men’s and women’s clothing lines a thing of the past. What does the gender-neutral revolution mean for you?
The fashion industry adjusts to customers who are challenging the gender binary. Data show that men shop on women website and vice versa.
Parisian brand Celine described all the clothing in its recent men’s show as unisex, and labels like Dior and Balenciaga have started marketing handbags as genderless. We are still in the early days of a gender-questioning revolution, but fashion, for everyone, has become a lot more fluid.
I wrote a few weeks ago about Chanel and Givenchy launch a men’s make-up line.
Can or should a man wear makeup? What do you answer? Yes: to be even more attractive. No: not to lose his manhood.
The brand CHANEL has just created the line of men’s makeup “BOY CHANEL” first marketed in South Korea.
Three products are available:
- A foundation: among the four shades, choose the one that comes closest to the color of your skin to stay very natural. Apply with a brush or a light sponge to ensure a good hold.
- A lip balm: it is moisturizing and matte. The lips are highlighted but keep their color. Renew it often in the day.
- An eyebrow pen: it emphasizes the look while maintaining the shape of your eyebrows. The line must be light.
The brand GIVENCHY has also created the makeup line “MISTER” intended to mix the feminine and masculine genres.
Four products are to try:
- An anti-fatigue fluid.
- A transparent gel to draw eyebrows.
- A corrector.
- A stick for a matte complexion.
Chanel‘s slogan for BOY is: “Beauty is not about sex, it’s about style.”
The new Nous shop in Paris also has an essential collection of unisex t-shirts and clothes. You should visit this new section dedicated to fashion. They have amazing pieces.
Chanel has also stepped into the gender fluid fashion trend. Rachel Tashjian in his article Behind Chanel’s—Chic, Discrete, and Very Chanel—Move Into Menswear in GQ describes how the brand which has never really created a men collection is now in. Pharrell Williams says it’s gender fluid, and it includes hoodies, graffitied sneakers (“Women will save the world,” they read), very now shield sunglasses, loafers, bucket hats, jewelry and more in what the house calls “the colors of optimism.” All of it reads “CHANEL – PHARRELL,” as if these are now the two genders. But forgive us a moment of old-fashioned thinking: It’s all great stuff for guys, whether you’re in Miami or just running errands.
People want something unusual, a new style, their style. That’s what they find in gender fluid.
Are you ready to adopt this new style, to assert yourself, to rebel, to dare? If so then do not hesitate, everything evolves towards the “no gender.” #nogender
Christian Allaire, also in Vogue adds Ezra Miller that Makes a case for Lipstick on Men that Ezra Miller is no stranger to taking risks with fashion. He’s applying his experimental spirit towards beauty, too. The Fantastic Beasts actor attended the Saint Laurent Fall 2019 runway show during Paris Fashion Week and undeniably stole the show when he stepped out in a bold makeup moment that made a case for men in lipstick. Even better yet, a bold red lipstick! – By now, many beauty brands are embracing the male consumer and creating more genderless makeup collections.
Prince Dru, and his brand Del’Hacienda, is one of the newest in Los Angeles. Brook Bobe, in her article Meet Prince Dru, the Modern Prince Charming Raiding Cinderella’s Wardrobe in Vogue, describes the extravagant new fashion icon of the West Coast.
Hairstylists are also starting to create Genderqueer cuts. You can find great shots in Samuel Hine article The Salon of the Future Is Gender-Neutral in GQ.
More is coming for sure. Vogue and other magazines write about it every week:
- Nathan Westling: All You Need to Know About the Transgender Mannequin, by Alexandre Marain in Vogue Homme. Nathan is still considering surgery to confirm his new transgender status.
- Parker van Noord is the cover of Vogue Men spring-summer 2019, by Olivier Lalanne in Vogue Homme. Codes, rules and male / female bipolarity are out of date. Nothing like it to look like no one, and shout loudly his identity.
- Foxy Lady, Model Sgair Wood is a mysterious figure, with striking, free-spirited style and looks. By Sarah Plantadosi in Vogue Homme printed edition.
- Kim Jones for Dior turns the the fables house’s menswear up-side down, reaffirming its codes and teasing out its feminine side. By Nelly Kapriélian in Vogue Homme printed edition.
With the rise of 3D printers, it will be easier for each of us to adopt our style, by printing unique fashion pieces.
The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.Museum of Fine Arts, Boston is Looking Beyond the Fashion Binary. Ted Loose in the New York Times describes this new exhibition The fashion department of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston shows gender-neutral, gender-fluid and unisex clothing, one of fashion’s hottest trends over the past decade.
Even airlines in the US start the No Gender options for their registrations. Alison Sider in the Wall Street Journal article Airline Bookings to Offer New Gender Options writes that airlines companies in the US will add “U” for “undisclosed” and “X” for “unspecified.”
Some cities and states also in the US are also allowing people to select a third gender on official documents. Oregon, Maine, California, Colorado and Washington, D.C. are among places that permit the “X” gender on driver’s licenses.
Some universities as well, like Yale or the University of Vermont are adopting the « neutral » gender. Even in the UK ones where you will find unisex toilets.
According to Freud, in his book Civilization and Its Discontents, man is an animal predestined for bisexuality. Of course, this theory is not scientifically proven.
I want to end this article with an important question that may help us think differently about gender fluid phenomenon.
Is God a man or a woman?
Elizabeth Childs Kelly in her article If God Is Gender-Fluid, Why Not Call Her a ‘She’? In Medium, she gives us an interesting point of view based on another article Is God Transgender? from Rabbi Mark Sameth in the New York Times. In it, he made a provocative suggestion: God was not, in fact, a He. In the Jewish tradition, God is transgender.
She points out that if we think like this, a lot of problems due to men leadership in the world would be solved.
Interesting isn’t it?
This may be a very sensitive question, with many answers and arguments.
How to become irresistible? Download now the free eBook available on this blog.
Enjoy the journey!
Umbert De Paris