Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week concludes today in New York City, and, for the lesbian fashionista, there were a handful of designs that distinctly spoke to us. Yes, Style.com, from what I saw grace the runways, “lesbian chic” is here to stay.
To clarify, I take “lesbian chic” to embody a particular sensibility rather than how it is commonly interpreted as recommending the fetishization of lesbians. Clearly, “lesbian” is not a monolithic category, and therefore there is not a uniform lesbian aesthetics.
That said, one could proffer a fluid definition of “lesbian chic” from certain aesthetic sensibilities identified with lesbians, historically associated with, and arguably born out of, 20th century fashion trends, from the slim-fit tailoring and low waistlines of the 1920s flapper era to the even more androgynous, Annie Hall inspired, looks of the 1970s. In the 21st century, these styles have been appropriated in two primary ways: the more casual, punk style, which I would associate with American and some European designers, and the more refined, sophisticated style found in the designs of the new crop of highly talented Asian designers.
The below eight Fall 2014 designs are those that registered most highly on my “lesbian chic” radar. Would you agree? Are there other looks you would add to the list?
Nicolas K’s “Grays”
The Lesbian Chic Factor(s): Hard lines, hard abs…and rope
Jason Wu’s “BOSS” Jacket
Lesbian Chic Factor: Black high-collar jacket, replete with parallel zippers and (faux?) fur, for the boardroom or the motorbike. Note: never wear boots with a skirt or pant hemmed around the knees; Jason Wu does it right by pairing this look with heels.
Michael Kors’s “If Nautica and Jenna Lyons had a baby…”
Lesbian Chic Factor: classy and classic, loose-fit tailoring meets refined tailoring (finally, after a few dud seasons, MK returns!). Just add a pair of chunky-framed glasses, and you are so lesbian chic.
Kors a la femme, the haute dress for every occasion
Lesbian Chic Factor: This design emerges from Kors’s early haute dress designs, but, while not unique, his dresses, which can be worn for almost any occasion, are perfectly tailored, and the use of taupe lends a softer edge, fall look.
Zang Toi’s Lesbian Detective
Lesbian Chic Factor: The heels, the knee-high stockings, and the fitted-tailoring, cinched with a bam at the waist brilliance of Zang Toi’s design—regardless of tacky hat (yes, yes, lesbians, I know you love your hats)—make for one sexy detective.
Kenneth Cole’s InVESTment
Lesbian Chic Factor: Nondescript, and non-overwhelming, pinstripes complemented the softness of the high waisted, tie-pants, and accentuated by brown leather accoutrements are only out-classed by the vest. THE VEST IS EVERYTHING, LESBIANS.
Theory’s White Blouse Dress
Lesbian Chic Factor: Gender-fluid fantasy manifested in the combination of the traditional (masculine) white blouse and the flowing, asymmetrical skirt.
Prabal Gurung’s Sari-inspired “A” Look, for the Pretty Little Liar in you:
Lesbian Chic Factor: Swooping, bold reds in the form of a pantsuit—got a secret, can you keep it?