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AW13 Trend: Androgyny

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Once again men’s styling has made its way into the female dressing room for AW2013. Whether by virtue of the social changes affecting perceptions of the modern female figure and questions of equality, or simply a renewed love for Coco Chanel’s first forays into ♂♀ tailoring, it's back once again. However, this time around there is a difference – the design language is much simpler: the masculine trend appears fragile, laid-back, still utterly feminine and devilishly charming.  

Herringbone, houndstooth, pinstripes, and Prince of Wales checks are all patterns that commonly epitomise masculine attire, but this season they have been reworked with the likes of Haider Ackermann, Lanvin’s Alber Elbaz and Dries Van Noten re-imagining the classic haberdashery fabrics, draping them like silk, or, even better, embroidering with feathers, portraying a real lady-like edge to androgyny.It’s an inviting world is androgyny in 2013.


(Dries Van Noten and Haider Ackermann images courtesy of

"Behind every great man is a woman," is the creative motto of Billy Reid, a designer whose modern approach to American work wear and cultured Southern dandyism embodies the essence of the brand from season to season. For AW13 his looks included sleek fitted velvet suits with a checkered shirt, feminine-length coats over an elegant silk shirt and skirt combo, and the ever-so cool yet graceful gown presented in gray plaid with a matching, almost floor-length coat. 

(Billy Reid images courtesy of

Over at Rag & Bone, traditional English tailoring came with a twist. Vintage fabrics and textures, along with old-school patterns and classic androgynous silhouettes outlined the must-have features of the collection. The design highlight of the menswear-inspired staples included a fabulous over-sized coat jacket with a lived-in slouched look in gray plaid, with a matching mini skirt injecting a girly spin. The classic pinstripe suit appeared, but high waisted, with a carelessly negligent comfy fit, along with a stunning, striking, vibrant jacket in knee-length pinstripe that caused a serious statement on the catwalk. 

(Rag & Bone images courtesy of

There was an overriding message that screamed from the catwalk of designer Thom Browne, - ‘girls, its time to man up’, and not just in the traditional sense. Imagine a clash between Alexander McQueen, Christian Dior and outfits from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and you’re not even close to comparing the beautifully bizarre ensembles made up Thom Browne’s Fall 13’ catwalk collection. To say this designer creates truly unique, ultra extra-ordinary pieces would be somewhat of an understatement. Exaggerated silhouettes, strictly surreal shapes with a largely unique take on masculine meets feminine would be an accurate synopsis. Post show, Browne was insistent that the image he was offering on his catwalk was one of female power, a feeling of being unhinged – enough to take on anything. To select only a few of the amazing creations, they included re-proportioning gray tweed suits, ties and shoulder pads, a super shiny, sleek, ultra smart suit jacket that was as manly as it was sophisticated to the modern woman, and classically strange designed jackets with high waisted shorts adorned with feminine floral embroidery. One of our favourites, time after time.

(Thom Browne images courtesy of

Words by Katie Farley.  Edited by GP


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