Alex Mullins has, since the creation of his brand, been known as a menswear designer yet, as the show opened, and a female model walked out, a murmur of confusion was tangible. Had I fallen asleep and woken up in February for LFW Womenswear? I kept on looking around me trying to work out whether others were as confused as I was. They took it all in their stride – the next step in unisex clothing and breaking down gender barriers.
A more neutral palette opened the show with beige, white and brown which progressed to more standout pieces with bold pinks and yellows. We saw a broad array of styles where biker androgyny and his signature Western look married perfectly with a finesse for slightly oversized boxy tailoring. Each elegant piece had been insignificantly altered to fit the female models showing the true versatility of his collection and his deep knowledge of what a true unisex collection entails. An incredible style combination to fit with a bold statement on gender; breaking down the barriers of what colours and styles both men and women are expected to wear.
It is commonplace now to see a gender-mix on the catwalk now with designers regularly using female models to present menswear and dressing ‘men’ in more effeminate clothing. Yet using all female presenting models!? A bold step yet one that made a stand and said that gender norms and categories should not even have a place.
Mullins made me think why. Why is it that we need to have the separation of a men’s and a women’s fashion week? We regularly see clothing that can be interchanged within the sexes, yet we are stuck in binaries with ‘Men’s’ and ‘Women’s’ Weeks. I feel that Mullins’ show has begun to address this question as we saw menswear truly being turned on its head and our concepts of masculinity being inverted. Could methods like these help us to recreate the way that we see fashion? Could this be the start of a genderless Fashion Week?