You’d be surprised to know that I used to be very much of a budding, young tomb-boy in my earlier years. Yes, me. Girly, pinup, curvaceously sensual, me. As much of an oxymoron as it may sound, I was always drawn to the softness of a woman that exudes even through men’s garments. In middle school I was forced to wear uniforms. I found much comfort in sporting my form-fitting Dickie pants, light blue polo tennis shirts and Timberland suede boots. It allowed me to be “one of the boys” and grab on the imaginary crotch I never had.
By the time high school rolled around, being a little fem-boy was a hidden part of my DNA. When the discussions of Senior Prom arose, I felt compelled to create a black, classic cut tuxedo dress with plenty of structure and even more boobs to display . Blindly naïve, I made the first ‘Fashion Rule’ mistake in my History class: Never discuss your [unpatented] ideas with your peers. Of course someone loved my idea so much, they decided to make that dress for themselves (thank God I had a backup plan which is absolutely, always Fashion Rule Number two).
There’s an essence so captivating and impressive about meshing the men women worlds’ together; fashion is an awesome industry for having the ability to do that. A designer can seamlessly overlap the male and female’s outwardly appearances over one another. The viewers will have no choice but to either appreciate or misinterpret the beauty of mild “cross-dressing” couture. In reality, men dressing a tad like women was an idea I actually grew up with in my heritage. Being of Jamaican descent introduced me to the concept of men dressing in skinny leg jeans, slimmer tops and topped with a masculine Clark shoe. Not until I attended college, did I understand the European influences of my background’s attire and music choices. Jamaica having belonged to the British prior to emancipation, assimilated a lot of the European customs to their culture. I thought we just really liked tight pants and the group Whaam! because they were good. Never did I realize it actually stemmed from the Jamaicans’ initial ties to the U.K cultures.
Midway through college and taking a Visual Merchandising course, I fell in love with the Woody Allen film, Annie Hall. I mentioned to my professor how much I loved seeing women in ties and chinos and erogenous looks. His response was, “Oh, like the movie Annie Hall?” My brows instantly went up. Annie Who? After class, I googled everything I could about the movie before even getting an opportunity to watch. Diane Keaton’s character was so gentle and quirky. The wardrobe director made an amazing call by putting her into more serious, gallant menswear pieces. The contrast was eccentric, but drew you in to her character. You couldn’t help but to glue your eyes onto her outfits in almost every single scene. Later I’d come to discover the movie is actually a really good watch (honestly one of those films I watch every time it airs), and received an A on my following project.
Fast forwarding to present day, I happened to stumble across a Louis Vuitton ad featuring the revolutionary, Jaden Smith in the Women’s SS ’16 collection on Instagram a few days ago. Darling, was that my tea for the morning! Sure this a trend that’s been going on since the days of the Egyptians, but every time it resurfaces I get so fashionably enticed. Not to mention all of the gender-bending looks from London’s runway shows this weekend. May we just take a moment to embrace men in cinched waist looks from the Matthew Miller collection? Bananas! I don’t know if I’d ever see a man in a skinny belt wrapped around his waist and consider him sexually attractive. However it does makes for an appetizing work of haute couture art, and great sex-crossing story telling on the runway.
Love Your Individuality. Embrace Your Style.