Trend We Like: Masculin Feminin

June 30, 2011

Daily Digest

Trend We Like: Masculin Feminin

This summer, sleeker and slimmer interpretations of menswear staples have everyone embracing their inner tomboy. Whether it’s an impeccably fitted blazer or a pair of snugly tailored trousers, these borrowed-from-the-boys separates are sophisticated, chic and unexpectedly sexy.

The look is not so much Diane Keaton in Annie Hall, as it is Chloe Sevigny in a modern Chanel suit. Other celebrities loving the look include New York style princess, Olivia Palermo (recently spotted out wearing a pseudo-suit ensemble) and actress Leelee Sobieski (who wore an Adam Kimmel suit to the CFDA awards). Olivia keeps the look feminine with sky-high heels and her skinny jeans play down the dressiness of the top half of her outfit.

A similar aesthetic was embraced by Paul Smith at his spring/summer 2011 catwalk show. For his intriguing masculine/feminine collection, Smith sent out models dressed like ’50s Teddy Boys, wearing crisp button-down shirts with the sleeves rolled up, ankle-length cropped pants, brogues, and pompadour hairdos. Yet, he introduced subtle feminine accents (the aforementioned heels and occasional pops of floral prints) to give the looks a bit of sex appeal.

DSquared2 also created some effortlessly masculine looks for summer 2011: relaxed suit pants were styled with unbuttoned shirts for a suave sensuality; chic chinos were teamed with double-breasted blazers; boys oxford brogues were worn with cute socks; and to finish the looks were masculine accessories like fob chains, pocket handkerchiefs and straw Panama hats.Where the duo’s designs entered evening territory the looks were tuxedo-inspired and came in a classic black and white palette.

This well-suited trend looks set to carry us right into autumn and winter, as DSquared2 continued the theme of gender blending into their winter wardrobe. With an additional, “American old west” theme, the design duo used lots of leather, fur and denim in dark colours such as ebony, slate grey and espresso. While the overall look had a masculine impression, the silhouette had a distinctly feminine charisma. Similarly, for Dolce & Gabbana’s fall collection, women’s tuxedos were vamped up with lace, sequins and the house’s signature animal prints.

One of Paris’ best kept secrets in feminine tailoring, The Kooples, is set to open a concession in Brown Thomas later this year. Be sure to stop by to peruse the impeccable cuts that have become a brand signature.

Style Tips – How to Get the Masculine Feminine Look

So how do you get the masculine feminine look? Here are our top style tips to achieve the female dandy look:

1.    Firstly, the look can be as androgynous as you like; mix masculine basics with quirky accessories such as pocket watches and chunky framed glasses a la Paul Smith for a full on female dandy look.
To feminise the trend, combine manly basics with girlie staples, such as a tuxedo jacket with a ruffled cami top and a pencil skirt.

2.    A cinched waist is another way of feminising a masculine outfit. Try adding a waist cinching belt or look out for a nipped-in, tailored jacked to neaten up an overall dandy look.

3.    Brooches are one of the best way to slow off that dandy edge, but to get the trend spot on, aim for a brooch that is slightly larger than most of those made for women.

4.    Ralph Lauren is of course a veteran of this particular look. Channel the all-American brand’s style by pairing three-piece suits with elements of evening wear for night-time elegance.

5.    Or for a more Parisian edge to your look, take inspiration from the Balmain runway where sparkly sequined tops and pants came with a swagger in masculine silhouettes (pictured)

6.    Tweed jackets and argyle sweaters (as seen as Margaret Howell in the white suit, pictured) are a quaint way of giving a quirky, East London edge to the trend.

– Gillian Brett

Related posts:

  1. Trend We Like: Seventies
  2. Trend We Like: Combats
  3. Trend We Like: Colour Blocking
  4. Trend We Like: Jumpsuit
  5. Spring 2011: Penneys

5 Responses to “Trend We Like: Masculin Feminin”

  1. Áine Says:

    Love this feature- v inspiring actually! I find workwear shopping kinda stressful with all the badly cut suits on the high street. Maybe you could do a future on how do achieve the masculine/feminine look on a budget once the a/w collections hit. And the Kooples- absolutely gorgeous. Love every single piece in their Carnaby St store.

  2. Annemarie Says:

    Yes, we’ll definitely do that Aine – your wish is our command!

  3. Gillian Says:

    Thanks Aine, glad you enjoyed it! I know I’m counting the days now until The Kooples lands in BTs…great idea for the Masculin/Feminin look on a budget!


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