The New York Times style section proclaimed today that ” … urban Americans, mostly in their 20s — are revising standard notions of gender-appropriate dressing, tweaking codes, upending conventions and making hash of ancient norms.” To a certain extent this is true. As they say, Adam Lambert is giving out eyeliner tutorials, gender-tweaky Johnny Depp has once again been declared the “Sexiest Man Alive” by People, and women are still wearing pants. I’m not so sure I’m prepared to buy into the idea of a cross-dressing sartorial revolution.Hipster retailers Urban Outfitters and American Apparel design specifically gender-neutral lines, and high-end designers, like Alexander Wang and Rick Owens, cross traditional styles on the runway. But these are hardly sweeping changes. High-concept fashion houses and American Apparel have always been gender neutral — because the models and fits themselves are for extremely thin people, not for those with curves, muscles, or guts. It’s only natural for the lines to be androgynous. Of the regular folk interviewed by the Times, none of the men, who said they enjoy their skinny jeans and mothers’ sweatshirts, said they’d dare to put on a skirt.
So, to me this seems like the normal tides of fashion sweeping over the coasts and leaving Kansas unaffected. How rebellious are gender-neutral trench coats sashaying the runway?