Androgyny, fashion and feminism

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What do you think of when the word androgyny comes up? Do you think of a man or a women? Here are some of my favorite androgynous icons….

Freja Beha Erichsen

Grace Jones

Boy George

David Bowie

Agyness Deyn…

At the moment i’m attempting to write an essay on androgyny and its part to play in feminism. I think the two are very connected. Feminism is a belief that women and men should have equal rights to everything, be it political, social or economic. Feminism includes men and women’s rights, together they should be the same. Its not about women defeating men, trying to overpower them or even hating them which I think many people make the mistake of thinking. Maybe that’s why so many women are afraid to call themselves feminists these days? I’m afraid to say it still seems to be a dirty word for my generation, but maybe i’m wrong.

I’ve heard to many women my age rush into conversations stating “Oh no i’m not a feminist don’t worry!” and usually more so if there are men about. Maybe people need to be re-educated on what the word feminism actually means, and why it is in fact still very important. Women’s rights still need to be fought for, why should we be ashamed for believing that?

Androgyny is a word used to describe a person or a style that doesn’t immediately fit into a masculine or feminine look/role. It blurs the lines, and doesn’t conform to gender stereotypes. This could be seen as a statement of sexuality or simply a fashion statement. After all androgyny has made a style comeback from the 80’s recently, just look at Dolce & Gabbana’s ad campaign for last years fall…

… but couldn’t it also be seen as a feminist statement? A statement that says fuck you to gender roles in fashion and hello to equal rights to the clothes we want to wear. Just because a women is dressing more masculine than society might deem normal, doesn’t mean she’s a lesbian. Many straight guys dress a lot more feminine these days. I think fashion is definitely evolving and blurring the lines of masculine and feminine more and more every season.

Photographer: Ryan McGinley

Fashion photography

I’ve only just heard about this photographer, from reading this months British Vogue. He photographed the cover story featuring Sienna Miller, and the photographs are stunning!

Ryan McGinley is a New York based photographer who ¬†started out as an art photographer before being involved in fashion photography. He became a figure of the New York underground in the early 00’s with work such as ‘The kids were alright’ 1998 – 2003, featuring him and his friends at parties getting drunk and having a good time.

Self portrait (Car accident)

” They were like evidence of whatever I had done that night because I usually couldn’t remember any of it”

He produced a short film for Pringle of Scotland in 2009 featuring actress Tilda Swinton, and began working more and more for fashion magazines and advertisements such as Pop magazine, Vogue Paris, Uniqlo and Marc Jacobs. I find his work really different and slightly alternative to a lot of fashion photographers. His photographs have a free spirit about them, and some of them slightly ethereal. Here are some of my favourites…

Tilda Swinton for Pringle 2010

Dove, 2011

Dove 2011

Advertisement for ICB 2011

Pop magazine featuring Ageyness Deyn 2008

Everybody knows there is nowhere 

Advertisement for Stella Nude 2009

Sources/Links :

http://fuckyeahryanmcginley.tumblr.com/

http://www.vice.com/en_au/read/the-kids-were-alright-v15n5

http://www.anothermag.com/current/view/1000/Ryan_McGinley

http://ryanmcginley.com/Everybody_Knows_This_Is_Nowhere

http://models.com/people/ryan-mcginley