Gender stereotypes have always played a role in influencing collections. Whether that’s embracing gender bending, making feminist statements or simply playing with theatrics, fashion either challenges typecasts or embraces them. In celebration of our “Girls Rule The World” February issue, we count the top five runway takes on female stereotypes. From the Vixen to the Hoochie Mama, fashion’s focus of these typecasts are translated through ripped chiffons, latex chokers and the nipple-grazing negligee.
Coated in latex with fetishistic vinyl chokers and hooker heels, Versace AW13 was all about the hammed up vamp. Christening the collection ‘Vunk’ – angular shoulders, tight structures and tough fabric allowed Donetella to stamp her V on punk and unleash her female foxes.
French crops, mink trims, chemise negligees and black cherry lips – Louis Vuitton AW13’s jaded palette of indigo blush, muted powder and dampened lilac tones showcased a nostalgic haze of brooding sirens. Banishing a traditional runway in favour of an intimate hotel setting – the audience watched as cougar-like ladies paced, draped in starlet couture, looking for their next victim.
Reflecting on American beauty Lauren Bacall, Galliano revealed his inspiration for Dior SS10: “She was a great Dior client; there are amazing photos of her in the salon with Bogart. It was that and Arletty in Hôtel du Nord”. Who’d blame him?These sirens embodied the bombshell. The clothes took their cue from 1940’s film noir and with an added bond-girl twist, boudoir baby dolls, decadent evening gowns and pin-up victory rolls cascaded down the runway. Super seductive.
After basing their AW08 collection on Japanese horror movies, Rodarte’s runway was rife with damsel in distress tendencies. A tough aesthetic – slasher dresses, robotic heels and frantic seams of chiffon were presented in pastel colours giving a certain vulnerability and off-kilter romance to the final look. The models make-up was that of rose stained lips and porcelain skin, as they glided around the runway their longing looks captured the pathos of persecuted maiden resulting in the best SOS performance we’ve seen in a long time.
Bling. And lots of it. With souped-up silk jump suits and thigh high splits, Alber Elbaz schooled Paris on how to present The Hoochie Mama. Unapologetically out there, models were wrapped in metallic fuchsia pencil skirts, necks were anchored by ostentatious ice and the sumptuous colour palette gelled the collection together with a devil-may-care attitude. Oozing Lanvin luxe, these ghetto gold diggers had Paris at their peril.
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