Hot on the heels of news that modeling agency Ford has signed female model Casey Legler to their Men’s Division, Saint Laurent have released images for the brand’s S/S 2012 menswear campaign featuring Dutch model Saskia de Brauw. Known for her androgynous look, Ms de Brauw sports Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane’s signature skinny tailoring in the shots. No stranger to traversing the gender lines, De Brauw walked in Givenchy’s S/S 2013 menswear show and her cropped haircut and chiselled jawline have seen her appear in several editorials dressed as a boy.
While we’ve become more accustomed to seeing transgender models including Andrej Pejic and Lea T starring in womenswear high fashion ads from Jean Paul Gaultier to Givenchy, it’s the first time that boyish girls have starred in the menswear market campaigns.
Androgyny in fashion is of course nothing new and the blurring of sexuality has inspired countless glossy shoots. Models like Agyness Deyn and actresses including Tilda Swinton and Cate Blanchett – who famously played Bob Dylan in 2007’s Im Not There – have traded on their boyish looks and have often been lensed in masculine styling.
What’s more, fashion insiders (especially the tall ones) have waxed lyrical about the benefits of shopping in the men’s department for eons. Indeed Hedi Slimane’s stellar fashion reputation comes from the legions of fashion forward women – from Nicole Kidman to Madonna - who snapped up his men’s designs. So it’s perhaps little wonder Slimane would capitalise on the cross-gender appeal of his collections now he is designing for both men and women at Saint Laurent.
Rather than a one season trend, androgyny has become integral to the modern women’s wardrobe. From jeans, jackets and shirts no garment seems safe from the ‘boyfriend’ makeover. We say tomboys across the world rejoice!