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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Masculin Féminin

Much like the obscurity that is intrinsic in the title, Masculin Féminin refers to a certain je ne sais quoi style that challenges the gender cues of fashion. Though not exactly a contemporary innovation (we owe much inspiration to Ms. Diane Keaton in Annie Hall & the title to Godard's 60s film), it is often characterized by tuxedo separates and classical menswear from tweeds and ties to suspenders and spectators.

To balance boyish looks, add a caged bootie and sunnies like Elisa Sednaoui (above in Chloé), choose deep V cuts as shown in the YSL and Michael Kors Fall 2011 RTW collections, or counteract a neutral, monochrome suit with a simple part of shiny locks and sexy stilettos in the style of Stella McCartney's Fall 2011 RTW collection. Okay, you're on to me; I'm thinking Fall...I'm thinking full-fledged-fall-fashion. And though the above editorial is from two past seasons, I adore the above images (Vogue Paris, Sept. 09) of autumnal, menswear-inspired pieces offset by feminine cuts, gold jewelry, and perfectly tailored blouses, blazers, and trousers. 

Perhaps the most feminine approach to Masculin Féminin dressing is in the makeup. Add a simple swipe of poppy-colored lipstick, as perfected in Ralph Lauren's Fall 2011 RTW collection, or seduce with rich, sultry tones as shown in the editorial from Vogue Paris, May 2011 (below); a deep cranberry manicure and stunning bijoux create quite an impact, as well.

Also in this aforementioned issue, is the spread "Smoking!", referring mostly to the tuxedo and the classic "smoking jacket", but also captivating the sexy, feminine allure of women who dare to dress avec l'esprit chic masculin (with the spirit of chic masculinity). The key? To wear trousers, bowties, suspenders etc. with the glamour and humor of a truly chic, feminine woman.

Gisele Bundchen, Harper's Bazaar October 2010

A more understated way to embrace a gender-bending look is by incorporating the smoking flat into any fall (or late-summer) ensemble. I love my Alvin smoking flats (Sam Edelman, below) but I am very much geared toward the laid-back luxury of masculine loafers and slippers including the Stubbs & Wooton slippers and Loeffler Randall neutral patent leather loafers with a crisp noir trim [below]. 

Catherine Deneuve in an oversized men's shirt and a fabulous beret...
Masculin, but very Feminin, n'est-ce pas?

Androgynous today means that men and women have the same attitude towards what they want to wear... It's not unisex dressing, but more the idea that you can see a jacket on a woman in this show, which you can just as easily see on a man.”- Giorgio Armani

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