Styles helps break down gender barriers with her fashion
Growing up during the rise of One Direction, I will always have fond memories of the boy group. These five British boys were a fourteen year old girl’s dream: they stole the hearts of girls everywhere with their preppy style and hits like “What Makes You Beautiful” and “One Thing”. I grew up and matured alongside the band members, so it was really a sad day when they broke up in 2014; it marked the end of an era. As the boys progressed in their solo careers, so have I, and have since developed a keener sense of what I love about a musician. As my love for the boy band grew nostalgic, I didn’t follow a lot of the band members in their solo careers, but Harry Styles was the exception.
While everyone in the band – Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and Niall Horan – have released solo music, it seems Harry Styles’ individual brilliance had the biggest impact on the world. popular music and fashion. During his time in the group, he has always been a fan favorite. However, he was limited by the band’s pop music aesthetic and a preppy, masculine outfit. We couldn’t see much of what made Styles, Styles, as he had to fit into the group’s image. Now that Styles is solo, however, he has become a modern rock star, with a style and sound reminiscent of 60s and 70s rock and roll.
With music from his self-titled debut solo album in 2017, Harry Styles has become a modern day old school rocker. He’s completely breaking away from his days as a cute boy band pop star and has cultivated a new image for himself.
And not only does he redefine himself through his music, but also in his fashion. If you look at how his styles have changed since leaving One Direction, he’s metamorphosed into a contemporary reincarnation of rock legend Mick Jagger. With flowery costumes, elephant legs, bows and blouses, he embraced the glamor of the androgynous rock star.
Recently, he worked with British stylist Harry Lambert, who contacted fluid genre designer Harris Reed after finding out about his work on Instagram. In a GQ article, Reed recalls Lambert telling him, “Think of Mick Jagger, think of Jimi Hendrix. I even thought a little of Queen. According to Kate Halliwell, a writer for The Ringer who has followed the evolution of Styles fashion, “He’s had his nails painted, he’s going to be wearing a ladies’ sweater with shorts. He plays with what you might think of as women – he’s not shy about what men and male pop stars are supposed to wear.
In the “#MeToo” era, masculinity is being redefined and menswear has a lot to do with it, with figures like Harry Styles leading the way. With the rise of fluid fashion, fixed gender barriers are eroding, allowing people to live more honestly, without the limits that gender stereotypes traditionally placed on people.
In an interview Harry Styles did with Timothee Chalamet for Vice, the two discuss their take on masculinity. Chalamet, who recently rose to fame with his lead role in Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me By Your Name”, is also known for breaking gender stereotypes in his performances and in his dress choices.
In “Call me by your name”, Chalamet plays a seventeen-year-old boy who falls in love with a graduate student hired by his father to work in their family’s summer house in Italy. In this film, Chalamet delivers a breathtaking performance, where the audience sees that they are not afraid of being vulnerable. Like Styles, he’s known to be in touch with his feminine side in the way he presents himself to the world. Notably, he wore a hand-painted flowery suit to the premiere of his movie “Beautiful Boy”, reminiscent of Styles’ style.
Chalamet shares his idea of ”a new masculinity, sensitive, thoughtful, creative and unafraid to be what it is”. Following this, Styles shares that growing up with his mother and sister, he always had a different perspective on masculinity: “I think there is so much masculinity in being vulnerable and allowing yourself to be feminine. .
Men like Styles and Chalamet are drawing attention to menswear in a way that hasn’t been looked at for a long time. They make choices that make men’s fashion worth talking about. Rather than sticking to the classic, ‘manly’ black tuxedo, they’re branching out to see how they can play with femininity in their fashion choices. It’s an exciting time for men’s clothing as there is so much more to do with fashion when it isn’t limited to gender stereotypes. The fashion world seems to be approaching an age where clothes associated with gender are no longer what dictates fashion, but creativity and artistry.
Alongside Chalamet and Styles, men like Jaden Smith, Young Thug, Luka Sabbat, A $ AP Rocky and many more strive to showcase fluid fashion. Jaden Smith was part of the Louis Vuitton spring 2016 women’s ready-to-wear campaign, and he continues to break the rules with his style choices. Sabbat has made waves with its fashion, both high fashion and streetwear. A $ AP Rocky is known to spruce up their looks and create their own distinctive style. Young Thug appeared on the cover of her “No, My Name is Jeffery” mixtape in a dress saying, “In my world, of course, it doesn’t matter. You could be a gangster with a dress. Or you could be a gangster with baggy pants.
As we move into a future where clothing is no longer ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’, we are entering an exciting time for fashion where we can see new, creative looks that don’t follow traditional gender roles.
Nicole Bates can be reached at [email protected]