Thursday, November 19, 2009

The dissolution of heterostyle

This is not really news. Anyone with eyes on the sidewalks in New York City would have seen this percolate on the Lower East Side and spill over into Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen and finally the Upper West Side where after a season of being digested and defined in the boardroom of the Gap, it finally appears in their windows.

Why is this important? It makes drag impossible. Old fashioned drag, that is. Once men and women give themselves license to shop in each others aisles, it's all over. There have been incremental baby steps: unisex bathrooms, unisex hair salons, goth make-up and jewelry, nail polish, biker chic, euro-chic, messenger bags, Doc Martins, Converse. And don't tell me you've never walked into a clothing store at the mall and been unable to determine which section was for women and which for men.

I used to try on women's sweaters because their length suited me. It was always a trying experience. Now, it would be a non-event.

Do you have anything at home that was originally designed for the opposite sex? I do. My husband.

As Tim Gunn told me the other night, all fashion is about expressing how you see yourself and want others to see you. All fashion is semiotic.


Dana said...

Yep. I shop in the Old Navy boy's dept. with my son. (Except for jeans, since my hips need a curvier cut.) I blame my own mother, who took me shopping in the boy's dept. when I was younger because the clothes were sturdier. For dress-up clothes, though, she tried to drag me back to the girls' stuff, and wondered why I resisted. The scary part now is that it's getting harder to tell my clothes and my six-year-old son's apart in the dryer. I'm only 5'0", and he's picked up big genes somewhere.

DrRuss said...

Great. Just fucking, great. Now there will be two wardrobes that won't be made in my style--as if struggling to be accomodated by men's clothes wasn't enough, now I have to worry about fitting into women's clothes.

Just shoot me now.

Spouse Walker said...

I walked into Topshop on Broadway the other day and was SHOCKED at the SHIT inside that DUMP they were trying to sell. Of course i felt as if i was a senior citizen amidst infants with their horribly cut polyester CRAP. I then found Banana Republic very nearby and was so delightfully thrilled. As a matter of fact i spoke about a beautiful grey cashmere skirt with the clerk that was absolutely DIVINE before being directed to an entirely separate store specifically for men. I never appreciated Banana Republic as i did that night. Screw it, I am sticking to Patagonia.

Mark said...

darling, we've lived through this before...starting with that cunning little boutique on the first floor of Alexander's that sold lace see-through bell bottoms to all the boys and girls way back in 1968. I wore my grandmother's hudson bay seal fur coat all through high school. Four years later, I was in a Schott Perfecto jacket complete with stars on the epaulets!

the pendulum swings both ways!

Will said...

Alexander's! Boy, Mark, does that bring on memories.

So much of the clothing made for men is dull. I don't do business suits--never have and won't--and I enjoy ethnic clothing and things I put together myself. I very much enjoy being male and I'm not into drag, but I am not doctrinaire when it comes to clothing--things I like and that look good on me go into the wardrobe and that's that.