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Le Monde

When women dress men

After Martine Rose and Grace Wales Bonner, Bethany Williams, Priya Ahluwalia, Paria Farzaneh and Emily Bode have also launched their men's fashion label.

by Sophie Abriat

“I consider myself a designer of men's fashion and I always keep the silhouette of a man in mind when I imagine my pieces,” says without hesitation Bianca Saunders, winner of the Andam 2021 prize, a competition under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture and which has rewarded young designers every year since 1989. "What interests me is to study the traditional methods of manufacturing men's clothing, such as tailoring skills, so as to better revisit them", adds the Briton, aged 28, who is part of this campaign. new line of creators who redraw the contours of masculinity. "Nothing prevents a woman from wearing my pieces, but my job is first of all to dress men," argues the American Chelsea Grays, who graduated in 2019 from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.

“Historically, from the military to the London master tailors of Savile Row, it was men who set the rules for the men's locker room in Britain. Surprisingly, most men today still dress for other men rather than women. Peer pressure leads to conformism; only a slight subversion is then allowed to circumvent the imposed uniform. With these designers, the dynamic is different, they are more likely to transgress these rigid ideas about what a man can and cannot wear " says Andrew Groves, director of the men's clothing archive at the University of Westminster.


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