Gender Bender

Gender-neutral styles have cycled in-and-out of high-end fashion for decades, but in recent years androgyny has gone mainstream.  In London, popular clothing chain Selfridges recently launched “Agender,” a gender-neutral collection that spans three floors of its flagship Oxford Street store. Here in Toronto, there are a handful of brick-and-mortar and online shops that carry unisex clothing and accessories, including Parloque, Muttonhead and our friends, Future is the Future.

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Future is the Future is a Toronto secondhand and small-run for all genders

What these trendy retailers have in common are loyal consumers who embrace a gender-free way of dressing.  And according to one Toronto fashion insider, that customer base will likely get bigger.  “Gender-neutral fashions will be something that is more enduring,” said Marilyn McNeil-Morin, chair of fashion studies at Toronto’s George Brown College.  She believes the gender-bending style, with non-body conscious cuts designed to complement anybody’s figure, will be more than just a fleeting fascination. She predicts it will become a lasting style.

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Thecorner.com’s “No Gender” campaign.

“I think we’re going to see a lot of it, and it’s going to last because it’s very wearable and practical,” adding that the terms gender-neutral, unisex and androgyny are interchangeable.  “When it was done before, it was done specifically for women,” she explained, referring to the androgynous look where traditional male clothing was cut to fit a woman’s curves. “But what we we’re seeing now is the same piece can be worn by men or women.”

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A model wears the Dundas boot from Blanc de Noir‘s gender-neutral footwear collection

That crossover, however, may pose a challenge to some designers, who may have relied on traditional gender-based sizing in the past to construct their pieces. But McNeil-Morin says this hurdle provides an opportunity for creativity.  “I’ve seen some designers approach it using more flowing kinds of pieces where the fit is less of an issue, so it can be worn by a man or a woman,” she said.

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Tilda Swinton – The Gentlewoman

“We think the wearer should decide the gender of the piece, rather than the piece itself,” says designer Miah Mills. “It’s the person who makes the person, not the clothing or what they wear.”

What are your thoughts on unisex one-size-fits all clothing?  It’s Let Rebena know in the comment box below!

Source: CTV, Future is the Future, Blac De Noir

Palm Cuffs and Handlets

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Palm Bracelet –FishboneDesignGR – $32.55

Whether it be a cluster of bangles or just a minimal band – we love adorning our hands.  But, we’d be missing out if we failed to bring the palm cuff into the picture.  Call it what you want — hand cuff, hand bracelet, handlet, palm cuff, hand band — this accessory is the missing statement piece your outfit needs.

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Gold-Plated & Crystal Palm Cuff – Fallon – $175

Much like the midi-ring, it fits a part of the body we may not typically put a piece of metal around. Which begs the question:  Is this pretty piece of jewelry is as practical as we’d like? Would you want to have a band hugging your palm all day long?  Hesitation aside we must admit that a simple gold band in an unexpected place sure does look rad.  The styles for 2014 may be incentive enough to add the palm cuff into our arsenal of accessories.  We’ll see if this bauble could be the next midi-ring.

Sterling Silver Hand Cuff - hoopsandbell - Etsy $107.45

Sterling Silver Hand Cuff – hoopsandbell – $107.45

Ode To The Vest

Woman wearing a vest and holding flowersVests would be at the top of my list of sewing projects.  The vest comes a close second to the circle skirt that we want to create from vintage fabrics.  Vests are great because they are a totally functional concept.  KEEP YOUR CORE WARM! Today I was so happy to have my puffer vest shoved in my knapsack when it got chilly out in the evening. Functional and PRACTICAL.  I’m not gonna lug around a winter jacket with me all day long, but a vest; I don’t mind to do that.  Vests also just look great.  An always flattering extra layer.  Hurrah for the VEST

Photo Credit:  Hanneli Mustaparta by Richard Ramos for Woman Madame Figaro, March 2014