However, one thing which used to repulse me, but and now accept gladly is the presence of transsexuals in fashion, and of course, in our community.
When I was young, I thought that transsexuals were perverse people who relishes in acting the opposite sex. But then, now I recognize that transsexuals are brave people because they're the ones who made the bravest choices. It's not their fault that they were born to be a girl in a boy's body or vice versa. It's hard to take that first step and declare a sex change because of the way society rejects such people as freaks. (But then again, our society rejects any abnormalities as freaks, it's how nature works.) I imagine that even a lot of their close friends and family would have trouble accepting that their friend, whom they have taken to be a man/woman all along, has suddenly turned into the opposite sex. So I'm glad that at least transsexualism and androgyny are constantly featured in fashion spreads, as this will somewhat diminish the social stigma associated with such people.
I'd like to think the first tendencies towards androgyny actually came from the feminist movement, and many designers took their ideas from the street and started designing suits, pants and ties for women. Prominent designers include Chanel, who wore mens clothes in an era of aristocratic French society where women wore elaborate hats, structured dresses with corsets and piled on tons of pearls. She introduced her famous Chanel suit of a tweed jacket paired with a blouse and a knee length skirt in 1923. Later on, YSL, introduced the famous Le Smoking suit, and Giorgio Armani built his entire design philosophy based on menswear inspired suits for women. And even till now, such attire is frequently seen on the runway, recently championed by some of Phoebe Philo's minimalistic designs. Such suits empowered women, changed the roles associated with the two genders and encouraged women to work.
|YSL Le Smoking suit - photographed by Helmut Newton for Vogue Paris|
|Stefano Pilati's reinterpretations of YSL Le Smoking suit S/S09|
|Giorgio Armani S/S 03|
Androgynous models such as Aggy Deyn and Andrej Pejic were preferred because of their combination of both mens and womens characteristics.
The fashion world loves androgyny- characterized by an individual possessing both feminine and masculine traits. Appealing to both sexes is beneficial to fashion designers who love to show the versatility of clothes and accessories. - Quoted from theexaminer.com
Hottest transsexual model of the moment is Lea T., born Leo to a Brazilian soccer hero father. Lea burst into the scene after being casted in Givenchy's F/W 10 ad campaign. Lea also posed nude for Vogue Paris, before her sex change operation. (not posting it here cos I don't want my blog to be flagged for nudity photos, if you want to see the spread and interview, just google it.)
Ricardo Tisci (creative director of Givenchy) said, "She's always been very feminine: superfragile, very aristocratic." He added that including a transgendered person in his campaign illustrates the "masculine-feminine dichotomy" he is now known for. - Quoted from Huffington Post
More food for thought: Bold Crossings of the Gender Line
What do you think? Do you feel that androgyny and the feature of transsexual models are actually good for the LGBT community, or do you feel that the fashion industry is just using this as yet another fad, for the shock value or to simply show off their clothes better since androgynous models are able to appeal to both genders?