Colgate Couture – Cross-Dressing

Katie Zarrella

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be one of the guys? A member of that Old Boys’ Club dressed in comfortable loafers, roomy trousers that don’t point out your panty line and shirts that leave everything to the imagination?

Well, wonder no longer because Fall’s fashions are all about machismo. This season, designers plowed through the ever-disappearing line between the masculine and the feminine to create collections that exude a certain androgyny. Manly tweeds, pleated wide-leg trousers and tuxedo jackets are paired with subtle feminine pieces: a ruffle here and a fitted silk shirt there soften the robust looks of the Fall runways.

Marc by Marc Jacobs’ black suspender pants are the definition of boyish charm. Held up by a pair of thick suspenders, these grey pinstriped knickers are right off a 40’s era newsboy. Marc sneaks in a girlish frill by pairing with a ruffled, cream blouse.

Phillip Lim showed a similar, but slightly more feminine look in his fall show. Clipping black suspenders onto a pair of wide, cropped pants, Lim supplements the ensemble with a tan dickey blouse. While the shirt is inspired by a traditional menswear piece, loose sleeves and a droopy bow help to bring down this outfit’s level of testosterone.

Proenza Schouler showed off its manhood in the form of a heavy wool jacket and low-slung pleat-front pants. Unlike Jacobs this design duo’s feminine touch is more understated and concealed by a dark palate of blacks and charcoals. Fitted, layered tees emphasize the feminine shape and a slight puff-sleeve on the hardy coat reminds us that it’s not all about the boys.

Roberto Cavalli’s woman-like-a-man look is for one debonair playgirl. Contrasting bulky black wool britches with a sexy white satin shirt, Cavalli plays with the difference in men’s and women’s proportions. The real gender-bender, however, lies in the formal tie and oversized satin tuxedo jacket that brings a distinct masculinity to the delicate shirt beneath.

D&G also took a formal approach to the menswear theme with velvet and satin tux coats. Showing these deep navy jackets with everything from matching fitted trousers to leopard hot-shorts, D&G flawlessly unites the sexes. Opened bowties dangling from beneath the jackets add a clever nonchalance that’s unmistakably Dolce.

Ready-to-wear wasn’t the only aspect of Fall fashion that was influenced by these manly impulses. Prada’s patent oxford looks to be more appropriate for Prince Charming than Cinderella. Fading from black to light grey, the pointy toe on these classic men’s shoe’s adds the perfect woman’s touch. On the flip side, Moschino Cheap and Chic’s patent oxford bootie took an inherently feminine shoe and transformed it into something more strapping. Wingtips, a boxy frame and front laces make these boots perfect for a subtle step into androgyny.

Masculine fashions are strong, cheeky, and scream confidence. It’s not about wanting to be a man, but about morphing certain qualities of menswear into something fun and new for the modern woman. Watch out boys. It may be a man’s world but these days, it’s tailored for women.