Long gone are the days of "You can't wear that, it's for girls." As society is becoming more open and accepting as a whole, the lines of feminine and masculine become more and more blurred. More and more people are questioning why it's acceptable for women to wear men's clothing, but not the other way around. Is it possible to erase the gender identity society bestowed on clothing?
Jaden Smith has always been one to smash gender norms. This was brought to the forefront of conversations when he starred in a 2016 womenswear ad for Louis Vuitton. Jaden took to twitter in 2018 to defend his right to wear whatever he pleases saying "If I Wanna Wear A Dress, Then I Will, And That Will Set The New Wave..." He also told Nylon magazine, "So, you know, in five years when a kid goes to school wearing a skirt, he won’t get beat up and kids won’t get mad at him. It just doesn’t matter. I’m taking the brunt of it so that later on, my kids and the next generations of kids will all think that certain things are normal that weren’t expected before my time. " Jaden also admits he wears skirts and dresses because they're cool and he thinks everyone should wear them.
While everyone knows Kurt Cobain as the Godfather of Grunge, he was also a radical feminist and ally for all. In the late 80's and early 90's, Kurt Cobain would grace magazines and stages wearing dresses, nail polish, make up, and other women's clothing. Cobain once told Melody Maker, “there’s nothing more comfortable than a cozy flower pattern.” He, like Jaden Smith, also tried to make the point that dresses are comfortable and everyone should be able to wear them regardless of gender identity and orientation saying "Wearing a dress shows I can be as feminine as I want. I'm a heterosexual... big deal, but if I was a homosexual, it wouldn't matter, either."
Harry Styles has had his moments of feminine fashion since his days in One Direction; from billowy pink button ups to floral suits. More recently, he has become more comfortable in his style and wears whatever he feels like. Styles told the Guardian in 2019, “If I see a nice shirt and get told, ‘But it’s for ladies.’ I think: ‘Okaaaay? Doesn’t make me want to wear it less though… I think the moment you feel more comfortable with yourself, it all becomes a lot easier.” The subtlety of a pearl necklace, Mary Janes, and a fun collar on an outfit that, without those, is more masculine can be more of a conversation starter than outright wearing a dress.
Gendered fashion plays in to the stereotypical presentation of men and women. Fashion, at its core, is art. Designers like Harris Reed, who identifies as gender fluid, are helping to lead the charge in designing clothes with that fluidity in mind. From their billowy, glitzy blouses to their bell bottoms and larger than life hats; Harris creates art with everyone in mind. The future of genderless fashion will without a doubt include Harris Reed.
With A list celebrities and up and coming designers taking the opportunity to say we wear and make what we like and you should too the future of fluid fashion looks bright. They are inspiring others to embrace who they are and simply enjoy life. Simple things like Harry Styles wearing nail polish can mean everything to kids struggling around the world. Here's to a future without labels, where anyone can wear anything, and confidence is abundant.