London fashion week’s gender neutral trends come to Canada

Sep 21, 2016 | Arts

By: Katherine Aylesworth

As the bold and stylish take over London for the final day of September’s fashion week, one particular trend continues to gain momentum, and Canada is catching on.

Gender neutral and unisex clothes are on the rise and the concept seems to be easy to grasp: don’t let stereotypical gender roles determine what you can and cannot wear.

Gender blended clothing isn’t a foreign concept. Singer David Bowie paved the way when he confidently wore women’s garments and shattered social norms. This style has increased attention and acceptance with younger generations.

“I’m totally open to it and I think more people should be,” said Danielle Grad, a Humber College fashion arts graduate.

“I don’t think there should be a mind separating two different sections. I just think clothing should be clothing and should be displayed however.”

Burberry’s September 2016 collection hit the London fashion week runway with looks inspired by Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando. Burberry’s website shows both men and women dressed in various vibrant floral prints and high ruffled collars. On the more masculine side, Burberry designed officer jackets and military braid embellishments.

Toronto clothing companies have already started making waves in the growing gender blending concept.

Meg Sinclair and her sister started Muttonhead in 2007, a unisex sportswear brand designed and manufactured in Canada. They were motivated to open the store when they struggled to find simple menswear type garments in smaller women’s sizes.

“We are in a time where gender fluidity is becoming a big focus,” said Sinclair. “By creating gender neutral clothing we are able to create a line that doesn’t leave anyone out as we strive to accommodate all ages, genders and sizes.”

Toronto has generally responded positively to the store. Sinclair said some people are skeptical at first, but when they understand the concept they warm up quickly. She thinks unisex clothes aren’t just a trend, but instead is a cultural shift.

“People are embracing it already. we think it will definitely become more wide spread in years to come,” said Sinclair.