Designers at London Collections Men offer a twist at gender-neutral: lace, ruffles and velvet, constructed in masculine shapes.

Recent years have seen a surge in gender-neutral fashion, from luxury heavyweights such as Prada to cult favorite Hood By Air. But this week at London Collections Men, designers are offering a new twist: lace, ruffles and velvet, constructed in distinctly masculine shapes.


Earlier this spring, at Sydney’s fashion week, Australian designer Jayson Brunsdon showed a collection that focused “on subverting the finer details, taking feminine fabrics and using them in very simple masculine shapes,” according to Executive Style. And Burberry’s spring/summer 2016 collection features classic officewear with a wink—lace button ups and bold prints paired with traditional neutral pieces.


In London this week, knitwear ruffles and bejeweled blazers at the menswear shows “felt tough—not ladylike,” noted T Magazine. Some see in this a revival of the 1970s glam rock era, when performers donned outfits that said “No this isn’t feminine, it’s masculine. Or at least, masculine when I’m doing it,” as fashion historian Valerie Steele put it to the International Business Times. Others see this as fashion’s genderqueer moment, a time when it’s becoming less necessary to create separate styles for men and women.


The use of more luxurious, delicate fabrics in masculine silhouettes is interesting to note, considering that athletic and high-performance fabrics have infiltrated runways in recent years. Is this trend a counterpoint? Perhaps more accurately, both are part of an ongoing reappraisal of what counts as masculine and feminine in fashion.

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