In 1957, clothier John Stephen opened a shop in London’s Carnaby Street promoting cheap, colorful fits. It brought about the Peacock Revolution of the Sixties and early 1970s. Suddenly, men’s fashion has become flamboyant and far less constrictive. Men grew their hair lengthy and embraced radical couture a la chiffon shirts, brocade jackets, and crop tops. Mick Jagger wore attire on stage, and David Bowie regarded a magazine cowl in an incredible, shape-fitting shape with exaggerated shoulders. “The Beatles charged, first thru Europe and then this USA, and the gleeful younger accompanied them into Prince Valiant hairdos, fits buttoned to the chin, and flamboyant haberdashery,” said a style creator in a 1969 article.
The 1970s witnessed a U-flip. When the Vietnam War ended, the hippie motion dissipated, and men’s fashion lowered its conservative roots. “Successful get dressed snobbish, conservative, bland and conformist,” wrote John T. Molloy in his 1975 style manual Dress for Success. In India, too, the reverberations were felt. “Men had usually dressed flamboyantly in India,” says style dressmaker Gaurav Gupta. “Have a look at the colorful textiles and jewelry worn via the maharajas. But somewhere alongside the manner, American culture began taking over, with its monotonous and corporate style.”
However, these days, a few might say we are inside the midst of Peacock 2.0. Gender binaries are disappearing, and fashion has become extraordinarily fluid. According to Gupta, that is because it’s miles presently much less motivated with the aid of the economy than using subculture. He calls it the “innovative cultural, financial system.” Pop lifestyle abounds with examples of gender fluidity, with Oscar-winning films like The Danish Girl, A Fantastic Woman, and Dallas Buyers Club proposing guys playing transwomen (Daniela Vega of A Fantastic Woman is trans.) For the exhibition ‘Gender-Bending Fashion,’ that is presently on at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the curator was given several gender-neutral mannequins in sunglasses of gray to display the garments. The exhibition is on until August 25.
In India, the Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2018 had a show called Gender Bender wherein labels like Anaam, The Pot Plant, Bobo Calcutta, and Blondie supplied their gender-neutral collections. Resham Ramchandani and Sanya Suri of The Pot Plant called their couture “100 in keeping with cent human”. “Clothes are imagined to be smooth to convert and have a spirit of fluidity,” Akshat Bansal, founder of Blondie, had said. “That is why my garments are in black and white so they can be neutral in any placing.” Fast fashion brands like Selfridges and Zara are among the many that have pop out with gender-neutral strains known as Agender and Ungendered.
Gender fluidity amongst men is nothing new in India. In Cocktail, Saif Ali Khan danced in crimson lipstick and lingerie that left little to the creativeness. Aamir Khan played an attractive bar dancer in Baazi, and Naseeruddin Shah wore a suit in Tahalka. Art curator Himanshu Verma has been sporting a sari for years now. Ranveer Singh has been seen in a skirt on numerous activities. But simplest these days has this counter-subculture fashion gone mainstream. As Gupta says: “Being one-of-a-kind is not funny. It is cool.”