She’s the man!

Guys in bikinis & girls in tuxedos. It’s a brave new world of fashion 

No quivering lips. No heaving bosoms. The latest trends to arrest the fashion world are square jaws and boyish builds. It’s the women who are wearing the pants on global runways and boy, are they wearing them well. In a gender-bender coup of sorts, Saskia de Brauw, Dutch artist and model, 31, has been chosen as the new face of Yves Saint Laurent Paris’ latest collection of menswear. In a series of brooding black and white images, Saskia looks like a pre-pubescent pageboy, wearing a biker jacket, white shirt, slim tie and blazer — part of the brand’s ad campaign. 

However, she’s not the first girl to model for menswear line. Before her, comes the 35-year-old Casey Legler from New York who’s been signed on by Ford Modelling Agency as a ‘male’ model. Strong jawbones, lanky builds, cropped hairstyles and six-feet-plus heights seem to work in favour of these women who have embraced their new-found roles with a classy nonchalance. In an interview to an American magazine, Casey said that the way we identify ourselves as men and women can be limiting. “Seeing me on the men’s board speaks about a certain notion of freedom.” 

Girls like Saskia and Casey have men like Andre Pejic and Stav Strashko for company in this world of glamour that’s not just forwardthinking but cares two hoots about strict gender roles. You had seen Andre, the Bosnian-Australian supermodel, on our pages right after he was signed up by a Dutch lingerie brand. Stav, on the other hand, had stunned all with his advert for a car company that features him only in bikini bottoms. His sinuous back and seductive gait giving nothing away about his sexuality. 

Androgyny is a word hallowed in the fashion mahal these days and designers across the globe are giving their own personal twists to the masculine-feminine tale. In 2010, Lea T, a Brazilian transsexual model, was made the face of fashion house Givenchy. Discovered by senior designer, ImageRiccardo Tisci, she then went on to feature in fashion glossies and even on a cover where she was shown kissing Kate Moss. Models such as Agyness Deyn, Stella Tennant and closer home, Tamara Moss, are turning staid gender straightjackets on their heads, proving that their bodies can fill out couture gowns yet make tuxedos and brogues look sexy. And nobody’s complaining as long as the dresses look fierce and the pants look smart!


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