Fashion’s Conscious Coupling

Thom Browne Resort 2020 All photos Vogue.com

Designers continue to challenge gender stereotypes. There is an ongoing blurring of the lines between what is masculine and what is feminine. Coed runways have become routine, and it’s often impossible to tell who the male is and who the female is.

Their outfits are not only regularly coordinated, but are sometimes mirror images. I can’t count the number of times I found myself seeing double in the past month. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander — indeed!

Thom Browne always pushes the boundaries of classic men’s fashion with his idiosyncratic mix of masculine and feminine. He took the idea of doubling down to a whole new level for Paris resort 2020. Driving home the point about duality, Thom sent out his models in his and her pairings.

Thom Browne Resort 2020

As the designer noted, “When quality is so important, I think you have to counterbalance that with something that makes it seem not so serious. Fun is key.” Fun it was. The two ensembles pictured here are perfect for the couple who wants to have a ‘whale’ of a good time!”

Berluti Spring 2020 Menswear

Another designer who featured couplings on the runway was Kris Van Assche for his Berluti spring 2020 menswear show in Paris. The designer was quick to emphasize that he used the female models like Gigi Hadid to add beauty rather than to feminize the presentation. Bertoli is known as a “man’s brand.”

Versace Spring 2020 Menswear

Donatella Versace’s spring 2020 menswear show in Florence, Italy, was a celebration of modern masculinity. Men and women hit the runway wearing his and her versions of the new Versace suits which are black on one side, Prince of Wales checks on the other.

Versace Spring 2020 Menswear
Versace Spring 2020 Menswear

Donatella’s binary missive carried through to a punkish group which combined shiny black vinyl and leopard.

6a6b S-R-Studio Spring 2020 Menswear
S-R-Studio Spring 2020 Menswear

The clothing in Sterling Ruby’s fabulous debut collection was interchangeable between the guys and the gals. Humble denim that is acid washed, bleached, dyed, or color-splattered was the undeniable star of the collection and the fabric of choice for menswear and womenswear.

Saint Laurent Pre-Fall 2019
Saint Laurent Pre-Fall 2019

Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello made a statement with his and hers throughout his Paris pre-fall 2019 collection. Among the gender fluid iterations were the identical black and white horizontally striped shearling car coat identical, down to the accessories.

Off-White Spring 2020 Menswear
Off-White Spring 2020 Menswear

Virgil Abloh’s Off-White spring 2020 menswear show featured the abstract, spray-painted street art created by the New York-based graffiti artist Futura—aka Lenny McGurr. It was a recurring theme used as a print on trench coats, denim, vests, eveningwear, and tailored suits.

The male version shown here incorporates a blazer, zippered top, and matching pants while Gigi’s elongated oversized blazer, which emphasizes her mile-long legs, closed the show.

JW Anderson Spring 2020 Menswear
JW Anderson Spring 2020 Menswear

The JW Anderson menswear show in Paris also included women’s resort. Jonathan is at the forefront of the gender-fluid movement. Among the many identical pieces, he showed on the runway were the sleeveless trench coats with draped wings.

gmbH Spring 2020 Menswear
gmbH Spring 2020 Menswear

Tailoring and cross-cultural influences are signatures of gmbH. The Berlin-based label, which launched in 2018, is designed by Benjamin Huseby and Serhat Isik. Both menswear and womenswear collections were shown on their spring 2020 runway in Paris. Among the standouts for his and her, were pure of line, white waist-defining coats which looked especially gorgeous.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin
Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin

Meanwhile, there may be a benefit to dressing in sync with your significant other. It just could hold the key to a successful marriage or relationship. Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin are known to step out in complementary ensembles. The duo, who tied the knot in October are still going strong. “The couple that dresses together stays together”?

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Marilyn Kirschner

I AM A LONG TIME FASHION EDITOR WITH 45 YEARS PLUS EXPERIENCE. AS SENIOR MARKET EDITOR OF HARPER'S BAZAAR FOR 21 YEARS I MET AND WORKED WITH EVERY MAJOR FASHION DESIGNER IN THE WORLD AND COVERED ALL THE MAJOR COLLECTIONS (INCLUDING HAUTE COUTURE) IN NEW YORK, PARIS, MILAN, AND LONDON. I was responsible for overall content, finding and pulling in the best clothes out there, and for formulating ideas and stories. AS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF OF LOOKONLINE, I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO USE MY TRAINED EYE, MY WRITING SKILLS, AND PHOTOGRAPHY.

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