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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Walk Like A Man

Marlene Dietrich
I remember this episode of The Cosby Show where daughters Vanessa and Denise were going through a phase where they were constantly raiding their dad Cliff’s closet.  Sure it could have been the particular style of the times but the idea has always been farther-reaching than just a look of the moment.  The idea is that while fashion is fleeting and occasionally quite frivolous, the appearance of a woman embodying the tailored look commonly seen on a man is quite an endearing play on masculine and feminine moires.  Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn got it right in their tailored tomboy-esque garbs during a time when women were still in prim blouses and measured hemlines.

Why the tailored look works on women has everything to do with women spanning into a territory that should men do the reverse it would become an entirely different point of view altogether.  In tailored clothing women visually take on the recognized symbols of strength and tradition that the suit embodies such as sharp lines, precise cut and pattern.  These masculine-attributed cues read differently when speaking of the silhouettes and lines created by curves, body proportions and a woman’s higher waist.  It’s a strength that when transplanted to a woman’s body is a harmonious masculine feminine dance where angular structure, power symbols and haberdasher patterns adorn the softer, rounder and more delicate features of her form.

For Fall 2012, designers went beyond the appeal of the boyfriend jean towards masculine cuts, bold menswear textiles and tailored savoire faire and created clothing for women that may have that boyfriend delving into her closet.












*All Runway Photos Courtesy of Style.com
**Marlene Dietrich Photo courtesy of Marlene.com

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