Why is Fashion Week still so gendered?
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As gender boundaries become more fluid, it comes as little surprise that fashion is following suit. This seems like old news – of course gender is in flux in fashion! Just look at Yves Saint Laurent’s famous Le Smoking suit for women, or the increasingly popular Gucci pussy-bow blouses for men. Dressing against society’s expectations is de rigeur nowadays – so much so that it’s almost expected. But this begs the question: Why are men’s and women’s fashion shows still separate? Every year the big four (New York, London, Milan and Paris) stage four separate fashion shows: Spring/Summer shows for menswear and womenswear, followed by Autumn/Winter collections for both again. Seems a bit exhausting, right? And… dare we say it, a bit counterproductive? It seems like designers are increasingly starting to agree with this sentiment. One of the biggest names in fashion recently did away with a separate menswear show, merging both genders. You might have heard of the brand: It’s none other than Burberry. From last September, Burberry combined its men’s and women’s shows into one uber-show, presented twice a year. Creative director Christopher Bailey told the Business of Fashion that the move was a no-brainer: “As I’m going through the process of creating a collection, I have a spirit in mind – I don’t really ever think in terms of what’s specific to a gender.”
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