India inclines towards gender-neutral clothing

After section 377, it’s time to bid adieu to gender specific fashion


September 15, 2018

/ By / New Delhi

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As the Indian fashion industry becomes more gender inclusive, designers are foraying into gender-neutral clothing and expressing the need for a more ‘free’ world through their labels.

Gone are the days when skirts were just for women and trousers for men. In the current zeitgeist, many fashion designers are coming up with a fusion of men’s and women’s collections on the runway. Over the years, the line between traditional male and female binaries is blurring and the cultural landscape begins to shift.

While androgynous fashion (style that combines both masculine and feminine characteristics) raised many eyebrows a couple of years ago, making it a prototype is the realm of gender-fluid fashion.

The recently held Lakme Fashion Week Winter-Festive 2018 curated a ‘gender-bender’ segment showcasing four design labels that only create gender-neutral clothing. It featured brands like Bobo Calcutta, Anaam, The Pot Plant and Chola the label, all of which offered unique perspective on gender fluid clothing.

Designer Sohaya Misra of Chola presented ‘Bye Felicia’ range of clothing as her farewell to all the things that are restrictive and irrelevant in the fashion industry. Similarly, other young designers also questioned age-old beliefs through their work.

In the past too, many international brands have gone unisex, having coed shows. From Saint Laurent’s spring wear collection to lower cost brands like Zara, H&M and Asos, have come up with unisex designs. Lines, colours, attitudes, gestures – there is no absolutely feminine or masculine prerequisite; and with fashion industry making a move towards this, the makeup industry is not very far too. After Japanese and Korean makeup brands, Chanel is all set to launch it’s makeup line for men called ‘Boy de Chanel’.

People in India are now opening up to offbeat and over-the-top styling elements, courtesy mainstream media and celebrities who promote comfort and fluid styling. Take a cue from Bollywood actor Ranveer Singh, who has championed the cause of fluidity and never shied away from experimenting with his style – be it floral printed suits or donning a skirt under traditional Indian sherwani.

Bollywood actor Varun Dhawan too, walked the ramp at Lakme Fashion Week for designer Kunal Rawal with a gender fluid look – with a light pink suit, kohled eyes, a few rings, chains, an anklette and a black nail paint.

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