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A Fashion brand that immediately comes to mind when thinking about gender is Alexander McQueen. He was known for doing the unexpected and to pull emotions from his designs. A specific image that comes to mind is the one below of a man in what is very clearly a woman’s outfit. The male model has very prominent masculine facial and body features. He is wearing heels that contrast the tightly tailored mens inspired suit with a classic white shirt and black tie. While McQueen does a good job at making gender statements by sending out a man in a tight woman business looking suit- it is clearly female. Because of this, the outfit looks somewhat awkward, but still flattering. “It’s not gender neutral or gender bending or gender free or any of the other expressions we’ve been using to describe the current clothes-fluid moment, because it is, in fact, entirely gendered, at least going by traditional definitions of men’s versus women’s clothing. The clothes and their conceptual allegiance have not changed at all. The person wearing them has” (Weber, NY Times).  Weber exposes a hard truth that we all face- we can chose what we wear but the clothing themselves are still categorized as either female or male. This is where either/or thinking has been rooted within us- that even with the choice to chose its between those options instead of just ‘clothing’. I would say McQueen is trying to break down that wall by completely placing males in all female clothing to prove it can be done and look good but on the other hand it doesn’t change that that silhouette is known for being female. While it is more about the person making clothing decisions- it is still impacted by societies labels on clothing.  “I believe the staying power of male tailoring shows how visual form can have its own authority, its own self-perpetuating symbolic and emotional force. This is a modern belief; and the very way modern suits look expresses the thought” (Kaiser 2012, 135). Hollander makes an amazing point how the continuation of tailoring in mens fashion is a symbol is power and strength. This is seen through the McQueen image- a man in a tailored woman suit inspired by mens suits. It’s almost putting him in a regular suit, just feminized.



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