2.12.09

It's a man's world?

I have an almost dangerous obsession with the ever gorgeous Ed Westwick, better known as the saucy Mr Chuck Bass in the American drama "Gossip Girl"; and to top it all off he is actually British! SCORE! But is the female obsession to to opposite sex unknowingly leaking into our fashion?


Featured in Elle this month (Jan 2010) features a "girls who like boys" accessories commentary, discussing how the masculine look,focussing on monochrome, is now sexier than ever. I would never defy the gods of fashion journalism, but I cannot see how dressing like a man (I'm sure thats called cross-dressing!) could be sexier than a skimpy pair of lace undies or leopard print heels- featured two pages previously. Could it be that women now feel that they must dress like men to be taken seriously? Does wearing a suit and tie suggest to others that you are more successful than a women who chooses to embrace florals? Is the business look on women more conventionally linked to wealth and being career focussed. If the latter is the case, there is a string of women who would argue that they are then treated as dragons; take Anna Wintours for example.

A further question asks whether monochrome is specific to male style. Although the stereotypical male business dress in basic shirt, tie and trouser is, to be frank, rather bland and simplistic. Monochrome styling, however, can definitely be directed in the female path. Coco Chanel, the godmother of contemporary style, used monochrome as a key theme in her work, as she strove to create female fashion that was basic, functional, but still elegant. Despite this, she had a certain edge towards male correlation in female apparel. And so it does seem, that even from an early stage, male styling was already inbuilt into female fashion, with its links possibly tracing back even further.

In a recent discussion at the London College of Fashion, four panelists discussed whether women could be successful in fashion, and several conclusions were met. But,was this really an issue that needed to be addressed, or was it actually a problem? Well yes; if you look at the management team of any fashion house, the board is mainly made up of men, and there is often little space for a woman to slot into this. To name a few; John Galliano at Dior, Karl Largerfeld at Chanel, Tom Ford at Gucci. Now 20% owner of Whistles and former director of Topshop, Jane Shepherdson, feels she literally had to buy her way into the business side of fashion.

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Look forward to hearing from you. I will reply to all comments that I can. Ellie ♥