Blaz-Her: by Kyle Coen
Part of me doesn’t want to call this a trend, but rather social progress; however, maybe they are the same thing. In a time when gender lines and roles are being challenged and broken, the fashion world is making a shift to be more accepting and androgynous.
Brands like Deveaux are based on developing lines that emphasize lack of necessary identity. Anyone can walk in any season’s show if they have the right look. In the realm of menswear, designers like Thom Browne and Rei Kawakubo made obvious statements this season by dressing men in skirts, utilizing wigs to de-emphasize gender, and being bold with makeup. More than a few shows had women walking down the runway in men’s ready-to-wear fashions.
To limit the scope of this article, I’ll be considering one piece in particular: the blazer. Worn by celebrities, boss ladies, the casual chic and guys alike, this menswear staple is having as strong a moment in women’s fashion, and I’m all about it. What’s so unique about the blazer is that anyone can sport the look and with that being said, designers aren’t going to stop sending them down the runway in both their men’s and women’s lines.
Let’s start with Berluti as an example. This brand designs tailored menswear and hasn’t presented at a single women’s fashion event. What they have done is send women down the runway to showcase how truly impeccable their tailoring is. In their Fall 2018 show, Haider Ackermann for Berluti showcased six of thirty-seven looks on women. The second female look was a gorgeous cashmere suit. It was an easy neutral grey with a single button, a generous but structured cut, and exuded luxury. It didn’t look out of place in the least, and it wouldn’t be out of place in any closet that homes a casual suit.
Maria Chiuri for Dior Couture Fall 2018 provided The Foil: a decidedly female-focused event that included tailoring that would make any man envious. In particular was a textured gold suit darted to define the body with strong lines and subtle structure that induced audible audience appreciation. The blazer was repeated with a pleated skirt and again with a topcoat.
Off the runway, the blazer is being worn to red carpet events, as seen on Meghan Markle when she wore a lovely unstructured piece by Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen with skinnies and heels. In late 2016 Kristen Stewart really made us pay attention in her stunning burgundy suit from Sandro by wearing nothing with it but a long necklace and black booties. Also, Rihanna wore an outstanding oversized Stella McCartney tuxedo top as a blazer dress in 2014.
While most of us aren’t Royals and bearing our chests to the world should be saved for specific events, the point being made here is that the blazer doesn’t need to be an “office only” piece and some unique styling can bring it into the everyday wardrobe: everyone’s everyday wardrobe. I know most of the people following me are men looking for a piece on menswear, and I’m really talking to the women in the room here; but let me take a brief moment to flip the board. Men can and should be inspired by these looks too. Why can’t a guy wear a casual blazer and slim pants like Meghan? The styling of the look from Berluti is superb and definitely replicable. An oversized formal blazer becoming a casual statement piece like Rihanna wore should be a thing as well. In the end, being inspired exclusively by your gender is limiting, let go of gender roles and get those creative juices flowing!
Kyle is an upcoming fashion designer located in MN. With an extensive background in fashion, Kyle is able to dive deep into specific trends or products analyzing the significance it brings to the world of fashion. For more inspiration and updates in the fashion world, check out @only2learn on Instagram.