Setting the a-gender

“I dress for the image. Not for myself, not for the public, not for fashion, not for men,” Marlene Dietrich once claimed. And we can thank her for paving the way for a more androgynous look; back in the golden age of Hollywood, when she stepped out in wide legged trousers, it caused quite a stir.

Now, nearly a century later, fashion is more interchangeable than ever. Forget boyfriend jeans, designers like Ann Demeulemeester, Yohji Yamamoto and Rad Hourani are building entire brands around garments designed to be unisex.

This season, our favourite department store is waving the flag too, offering fashion forerunners and rising stars a gender neutral space to showcase their collections. AGENDER, an exploration of the masculine, the feminine and the in between, opens in Selfridges today. Designed to illustrate the power of clothing in a new way, the space will feature no mannequins. Spread across three floors, it will launch five unisex collections, and feature an additional 40 brands covering everything from wardrobe basics to streetwear, avant garde and couture collections.

“For us, AGENDER is not about harnessing a ‘trend’ but rather tapping into a mindset and acknowledging and responding to a cultural shift that is happening now,” says Selfridges’ creative director Linda Hewson. It’s an exciting time for fashion and we can’t wait to explore this whole new retail experience.

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