In a candid chat earlier this month, actor Radhika Apte had advised HT City Showstoppers, “There should be no boundaries in fashion. I love androgyny. Pantsuits and waistcoats are what I would normally wear.” Defined as exhibiting each masculine and female traits, androgynous vogue dilutes boundaries at many ranges. Recently, American actor Brad Pitt was seen carrying a skirt on the Bullet Train premiere, whereas musician Lil Nas X wore a metallic pink miniskirt on the Audacy Beach Festival. Closer house, actors Ranveer Singh, Jim Sarbh, Konkona Sensharma have additionally embraced the pattern. This set the plot for understanding androgynous vogue and a rising celebrity-led, social media-driven consumption of gender-free silhouettes.

So what’s it about an androgynous piece of clothes that checks all of the packing containers of expressing by way of garments? “Gender-free fashion is not about hiding, it’s about celebration of the body. The premise of androgynous fashion is the freedom of choice and wearing that you are comfortable in,” says designer and founding father of the label Rishta, Arjun Saluja.

Konkona Sen Sharma in Deconstructed Cobalt Bomber Shirt and Hakama Trouser from Rishta by Arjun Saluja. (Photo: Instagram/Rishta by Arjun Saluja)

Breaking down the historic and sub-cultural evolution of androgyny in vogue, Saluja, says, “Understanding androgynous fashion is understanding androgyny itself. People can wear certain clothing and pass it off as androgynous but androgynous has a lot to do with a mindset. It is an emotion, a lifestyle and the choices one makes. It means freeing oneself of conditioning, social norms and stigmas. Non-binary, gender-neutral fashion has existed for a very long time but it has taken different shapes. They are not fashion trends; they have a societal reference. We have to ask why did women start dressing this way – they used it to voice their opinion and clothes became an expression of power and equality.”

BEYOND THE BINARIES

Couture pioneers equivalent to Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret have been among the many first to popularise the ‘flapper style’ which consisted of trousers and a classy bob coiffure. It was marketed as the newest pattern in ladies vogue. This fashion gained reputation among the many celebs within the ’30s, with German actor Marlene Dietrich turning into one of many first film stars to undertake the flapper androgynous fashion.

Kriti Sanon in Kanika Goyal Label. (Photo: Instagram/Kanika Goyal Label)
Kriti Sanon in Kanika Goyal Label. (Photo: Instagram/Kanika Goyal Label)

Designer and founding father of eponymous label Dhruv Kapoor alludes this shift to an unrestrained reflection of particular person personalities. “The past had strict codes divided by gender – be it hairstyles, shoes or how a blazer was meant for men. But the new world is one that highlights individuality and freedom to choose. There are no guidelines, no rules and we are free to own ourselves just the way we desire. India is right on top as we fearlessly adapt to new ideologies. People care less about societal acceptance, it’s more about owning their personal ideologies,” he says. It’s a win-win as a result of from the standpoint of a creator, too, the evolution means extra room to personal a mode and type. “I remember when intentional errors in styling started out – the half-tuck shirt, the shabby collar under a sweater or simply odd pairings and all of them are my go-to points when styling our collections. For me, it’s always “How do you want to feel?” when providing a collection- it’s at all times concerning the psychological impression of vogue that we wish to faucet into via the model,” says Kapoor.

Ranveer Singh in Dhruv Kapoor. (Photo: Instagram/Eka Lakhani)
Ranveer Singh in Dhruv Kapoor. (Photo: Instagram/Eka Lakhani)

As the gender-defying silhouettes flood the runways and celeb closets, Saluja offers a phrase of recommendation to fashion it proper: “How you mix structures and drapes is important. The way you divide the body in a way that it helps elongate and accentuate your stature matters.”

Interact with Etti Bali @TheBalinian

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