“Woman” is the word du jour. Over the weekend, over one million women participated in the global Women’s March to voice out women’s rights in light of President Trump’s inauguration. Over in the fashion world, the men’s fashion weeks are in full swing – with mixed-gender show being a thing among brands. Besides for economic reasons, mixed-gender shows send out a message of equality and unity among men and women.
Sir Paul Smith decided to jump into the unisex bandwagon. After 23 years of designing preppy menswear, he includes designs for women in his fall 2017 collection, aptly titled WO MAN, shown at Paris Fashion Week. He has scrapped hometown London off his agenda in favour of a mixed-gender Paris show. The brain behind the namesake brand says that a mixed-gender show reminds him of the nineties.
“Grace Coddington and Liz Tilberis, all these incredible women, were dressing supermodels like Linda Evangelista in my clothes for men,” he recalls, as quoted by The Guardian.
For its first mixed-gender collection, Paul Smith stays true to its quintessential British roots. Opening the show, a woman appears in tartan pantsuit alongside a man in matching tailored coat paired with beige trousers. Many of the men’s materials are used on women, including velvet used in waistcoasts and suits.
Although the women’s tailoring is definitely inspired by men’s, feminine adjustments have clearly been made. Wait is higher and more defined, jacket is longer while shoulder is stronger to compliment the women’s body.
The unisex sentiment is also felt at Kenzo, which mixes its men’s and women’s collections in a show. The show also features a backstage in its entirety – wardrobe, makeup and hair stations – as centrestage. Kudos to Young Creative Directors Carol Lim and Humberto Leon for shaking things up at the fashion house.
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