Jamie Elwood: Challenging Masculinity Through Fashion
In this increasingly liberal world it is not uncommon to see a woman wearing what our grandparents would deem to be 'male clothes'. From the bold pant suits worn by Merkel and Clinton to the practical sporty attire seen at the gym, it's clear that a woman can rock menswear and look badass.
However, can we really say the same is true for men? Can a man wear a dress during his morning commute and have no one bat an eye? Is it considered socially acceptable for a man to wear heels? Would it be okay for me to don my mother's gown?
Unfortunately, at the moment, the answer is probably no.
Refreshingly, there is one individual challenging this stereotype, Jamie Elwood, a fashion designer who I had the privilege of sitting down with yesterday.
Speaking to Jamie, one becomes acutely aware of his true individuality despite being in an industry that almost requires it's incumbents to follow trends. Chatting about the future of the industry, we touched upon the topic of masculinity in fashion- an overt theme in his work (see pictures of his pieces below).
As noted by Elwood, the future is about moving forward, and if the last 50 years is anything to go by, the strict parameters of male fashion will- hopefully- slacken. We shouldn't blunt the sharp creativity of such pioneers, rather embrace their challenge because it resonates beyond the wardrobe. Elwood's work is poignant not only because of the beautiful design work but also because of the societal challenge it elicits.
If equality, like other pursuits, requires both thought and action then maybe it is time for men to add a little bit of femininity to their wardrobe; as said by Vivienne Westwood "It is not possible for a man to be elegant without a touch of femininity."