Menswear, womenswear and the fine dividing line

I have written about the blurring of boundaries in menswear and womenswear before. Not being a curvy girl, I tend to prefer the cut and style of menswear – unfussy details, minimal surface decoration, utilitarian fabrics and military shapes are all what I gravitate towards. (I then get my girly kicks from Margiela dog-shaped handbags and mimsy charm jewels).

I’m noticing bolder steps being take with the unisexualisation of fashion. In the same week, I’ve been alerted to the new Pringle campaign (thanks 00o00) and the LN-CC (Late Night Chameleon Cafe) concept store.

Pringle has used Tilda Swinton to front both its womenswear and menswear campaigns for AW10. If anyone can rock a mens suit it’s definitely Tilda so there’s no denying she looks wonderful in the clothes, but would a man want to buy them? Pringle has already shown itself to be an innovative brand by utilising both Swinton and art-photographer Ryan McGinley in its campaigns. This latest experiment with androgyny suggests Pringle is yet again giving us something to think about and discuss.

This week has also seen the PR campaign wheels turning for concept store LN-CC. Launching its East London space in October, the store will be a mixed bag of fashion, music and *licks lips* art books curated by book dealer Conor Donlon. Co owner John Skelton told Dazed Digital, “LN-CC was created just to please ourselves. We have been looking to progress and develop our feeling and concept for such a long time so this just felt like the natural thing to do. The concept is not just focused around a store, it’s more an overall feeling and lifestyle that we live and wanted to share with anyone who might be interested. This feeling has been spread over a number of different platforms from our product and e-commerce through to parties, exhibitions and installations.”

I love that they are thinking beyond product and making the retail experience more of an event. But I’m also loving that LN-CC will stock clothes based around a concept of unisex styling. As well as menswear lines from Rick Owens, Sasquatch and Unused, there will be forays into womenswear by menswear designers who scale down their ranges exclusively for LN-CC. As Skelton says, “I really wanted to offer the more turned on girls something in our more masculine flavour as opposed to the high heels and handbags that seem to dominate the premium end of womenswear.”

While the physical store doesn’t open for a couple of months, its online arm will launch later this month. I’ll report back…

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11 Responses to Menswear, womenswear and the fine dividing line

  1. 00o00 says:

    i have my own tag/label! *wheeeeee!*

  2. MrJeffery says:

    interesting post. tilda is amazing.

  3. Isabelle says:

    As a fellow non-curvy femme I definitely love a bit of masculine tailoring. Straight on girly is just so much more boring.

  4. Anastasia and Duck says:

    Tilda looks fairly dashing as a gent, I suspect this ad campaign will work well for them. Haven't heard of the new store yet, wonder if they'll have some kind of launch event during LFW…?


  5. young-shields says:

    Tilda looks great. Love the colours of that shot. The store sounds interesting too, I look forward to hearing more. x

  6. teawithonesugarplease says:

    Whats not to love about the Swinton, she is an amazing looking being and my all time girl crush

  7. London Girl says:

    I love menswear style on women. But, it's got to be well adapted for the girls with a bit more of a curve who want to wear it – and can look great in it. By that I mean curves on any size from 6 onward. A guy jacket might not look great straight of the peg for those ladies. The way Paul Smith's A/W is looking nails it for me. Who else does it well?

  8. Chuck says:

    Gosh I wish I could do la garconne… It is not a breast friendly look though. I fear androgyny is barred to me forever. Tilda will always be a bit Orlando for me. Wonder if the male customers will react to her at all…

  9. StylishSinead says:

    Tilda is an ingenius pick. I love the androgynous look.

  10. sarahbetty says:

    Tilda has always been both Ying and Yang. I love her for cool, sophisticated 'I don't give a fuck' ways and it comes through with this ad.

    Very innovative!

    Sarah Betty xx

  11. Ninh Nguyen says:

    I think it's great to see women wear suits greatly influenced by menswear silhouette and detail. Same thing goes with men wearing womenswear inspired cut. But there really is no defined line between men's and women's clothes. Anyone and everyone can wear both. It's just one's personal opinion and comfort zone.

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