Like any female living in the year 2011, I am a feminist. I’ve read Simone de Beavoir and rather enjoyed it. I watched Sex and the City 2 and was outraged at it. I love that there is a chick in power, but I get annoyed when Julia Gillard is forced to kiss a man she meets. Can’t she just shake hands like the rest of them? The majority of people in politics are men and they are ugly as sin. Poor Julia.
But despite my firm feminist beliefs I am extremely girly about one thing. My God, I love fashion. There is something about peeptoe heels and fishtail skirts that gets me going. Watching Mad Men is my equivalent of porn. I lurve that when girls go out we get to go ALL out. So the particular thing that annoys me this week? Dudes stealing fashion from us girls. I’m looking at you Andrej Pejic. But I doubt you are looking at me.
Andrej Pejic is a 19 year old Broadmeadows boy who is currently the international male modelling sensation and whose looks are subtle and feminine. With a Croatian and Serbian background, his long blonde hair, sharp cheekbones and generous mouth result in him being frequently mistaken for a girl and have secured him lucrative women’s clothing contracts. One of his more recent shows was the Spring Fashion show for Jean Paul Gaultier, who booked Andrej not only for his male line, but also as the model for the centrepiece of the female line, the Spring Bride.
Andrej is a reserved and softly spoken person, who is modest about his rise to fame and tight lipped about the burning questions from his fans about his sexual preference. He admits that he has been experimenting with female clothing and makeup since he was 13, yet does not identify himself as either a man or a woman. That is undecided. Andrej has very smartly tapped into his marketability, and consequently, the fashion world loves him.
The terrible thing about this is that it feels as though the fashion industry has completely missed the point. What appears to be an expression of sexuality, identity or preference has turned into ‘the latest thing’ and reporters coining such smart phrases like “femiman”. This is the fashion industry thinking they are being extremely clever and edgy by tapping into that hot, androgynous look that all the kids are so crazy about. According to one designer, “the androgynous look is relevant to both men and women”. Well duh.
But should I complain? Should I get off my high, well-dressed horse and take a real look at things? Girls have been stealing men’s clothes for a long time. Post-World War 1 women dropped their skirts and pulled on some trousers. Marlene Dietrich stunned audiences in 1928 by donning a tuxedo and kissing a girl in the film “Morocco”. Diane Keaton donned a vest and tie in 1977 for “Annie Hall”.
But rather than trying to claim men’s fashion for their own, women have taken men’s clothing and given it their own unique twist. I personally, would like to thank the Defence force for the WW1 army helmet, on which cloche hats were based.
Men are welcome to wear dresses and skirts and ribbons in their hair for all I care, but if this is just an excuse to challenge fashion at least give it a masculine spin. Take a bra and turn it into a crop top for dudes maybe, I don’t know. I obviously, am not a designer, just a customer.
I admire Andrej Pejic for his dedication to his craft of looking beautiful, and to be honest, he is a way prettier chick than I am, but I really do worry about the pressures of the fashion industry. Andrej has reportedly said that if he were offered a modelling contract from Victoria’s Secret, he would consider a sex change.
Now normally someone who would consider such a change may take months or even years to reach this decision. This decision is usually based on their own feelings of discomfort at the sex or body they have been born with. To decide on such a life altering procedure for the sake of fashion makes me sad for little Andrej, no matter how much hotter he is than me.
Andrej Pejic returns to Melbourne this week, as a special guest at the VIP opening of Myer's new look city store. Myer women’s designer Yeojin Bae will be designing Pejic’s show stopping two-piece suit for his arrival.
The opinions expressed in The 7PM Side Project blog do not necessarily reflect those of The 7PM Project or the Ten Network.