2018 has seen a rise in major fashion houses blurring gender boundaries. Gender is a hot topic these days, and Gender fluidity has become a fashion statement. The term Gender fluidity refers to some one who does not identify to a fixed gender. I argue we can look at gender as a spectrum, everyone’s different. We can be more feminine, more masculine, there is no constant fixed point. This is being expressed through the medium of fashion. From introducing female models on to mens catwalks, to Gucci’s impressive sales streak, high street brands are beginning to support gender fluidity in fashion. For instance Zara launched a 16 piece collection of unisex items and ASOS is developing a genderless style.
Now I know we all love Harry for his music, but I’m more interested in his pants…… and his shirts and gorgeous Gucci jackets. Styles is definitely making a statement with his latest style choices. 70’s inspired flares, and bold prints are just a few statement pieces that have been presented on his first solo world tour. Why is this interesting I hear you ask? His collaboration with young stylist Harris Reed, has allowed many to open their minds in regards to fashion, and start to loosen the strict gender labels that adhere to clothing. For instance, in his latest appearance for Gucci, modelling the Alessandro Michele collection, in the promotional video Styles appears to be wearing a red beaded necklace. When I checked on the site the necklace is modelled by a woman. In a geeky way this made me smile, the fact that it is modelled by a woman doesn’t have to mean it is targeted at women, as Styles demonstrates the necklace can be worn by both genders. By supporting Alessandro Michele’s Gucci Collection, Styles’ fashion choices hugely support gender fluidity in the fashion industry. His style is unique to any other teen heart throbs of popular culture, and his support for individuality and gender fluidity is admirable.
So why does all this matter? I guess what I really wanted to talk about was me. Selfish I know, but it’s really good for my narcissism. I wanted to share with you how my style has evolved from the inspiration I have gained from Mr Styles himself. Back in the day, when I was young and foolish, I followed the herd. I wasn’t a trend setter, I followed the trends. Like a sheep I followed, head down not looking. In the final years of One Direction, Harry began to style himself differently. The infamous flower suit being a personal favourite for me. He became bolder, and seemed to care less about what people thought. So I took a leaf out of Styles’ leather bound journal. I stopped caring. Not about what I wore, but about what people thought. I realised that I didn’t want to follow trends, I didn’t what to live in skinny jeans. I wanted to be confident and adventurous with my style and not just follow the crowd.
But then One Direction split… it was a tough year, but we got through it guys. The next style inspiration came around, and it came in the form of a pair of flares. I had already added many pairs of floral pants, and Hawaiian shirts to my wardrobe. After a few months, Styles dropped his first album, and the secret show in Camden, and many appearances on TV saw Harry donning a pair of flares and heeled Chelsea boots. With graduation round the corner, I knew what I wanted to wear. With the help of a friend, I had some tailor made pin stripe flares, and I was graduation ready. Fellow students thought I was a little strange. They didn’t understand why I wanted to dress like my male icon. My answer, I found it empowering. It was against the social norm, and it felt great.
After months of touring and endless outfit inspiration, I am forever endeavouring to recreate Styles’ looks. It sounds cheesy but Harry has definitely reminded me to be myself. In my opinion, he is doing something new and something different. He has loosened the labels of gender surrounding clothing, and this is why he is such a big style inspiration for me.