Men and women share a wardrobe at Juun.J and Officine Générale
While the gender neutral trend has been in full swing in the world of fashion for a few years now, we have also been seeing a parallel movement whereby an increasing number of brands are showing their men's and womenswear collections together, leading to some clear similarities developing between the two wardrobes.
On top of this, there has been a notable convergence between the two genders. Women are adopting a more resolutely masculine style, while men are tending to soften their silhouette. One might well wonder where exactly the frontier stands between the two these days. At this season's Paris Fashion Week Men's, a number of maisons have given their response to this question, including Juun.J and Officine Générale, who showed their collections on Friday.
At Juun.J, both men and women wore culottes. For this winter collection, the Korean brand, a long-time promoter of gender-neutral fashion, decided to send mostly women down the runway, so as to emphasise powerful silhouettes through its designer's typical oversized volumes.
This predominantly black wardrobe, which featured leather as its star material, is targeted indiscriminately at both men and women, offering imposing full leather jumpsuits, giant perfectos, large 1980s jackets and baggy leather trousers, as well as balaclavas that covered almost all of the models' faces, making nigh on impossible to guess the sex of the wearer.
One difference might serve as a clue: the high-heeled boots worn by the women. Everything else, the whole motorbiking outfit, was worn by both sexes: the maxi denim shirts, the tight pants with knee guards, the leather gloves and multi-pocketed gilets, some of which were fused into long cashmere coats.
"I love leather. For this collection, I exclusively used synthetic eco-leather that respects the environment. I was surprised by the multiple possibilities offered by this material," said designer Jung Wook Jun backstage, having sent out eco-leather pieces that imitated vintage leather and crocodile skin.
This blurring of lines between the genders was also explored in the most formal part of the Juun.J runway show, in which women paired suit-and-tie combos with dark maxi coats, some donning trenches and large square-shouldered jackets.
At Officine Générale, the girls also shared a number of pieces with the boys, looking like they'd pinched them right out of Monsieur's wardrobe. Cases in point were the cosy white jumpers, long fringed scarfs, jackets, checked shirts and corduroy outfits worn by a number of the female models.
That said, since launching his womenswear line in 2017, designer Pierre Mahéo has always borrowed a range of menswear looks in order to dress the Officine Générale woman. And he's got plenty to chose from, as his skill in constructing a complete and well-rounded menswear collection is second to none, leading to an ideal wardrobe that caters to every need.
This season, his suits, in particular, were very varied. There was the elegant and comfortable model with its creased trousers and two-button jacket, the vintage carrot-coloured velvet number with wide sides, and the relaxed cotton look with roll-up trousers. Not to mention the banker suit and the black 60s-style number with slimline trousers.
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