You know how it is in the world of latex wardrobe styling, we don’t make too much of a stink over gender. I have fitted men as much as women in a catsuit, and pretty much nobody cares who is under what hood when you walk into an event with your face hidden. We of the fetish fashion lot seem to be a rather forgiving (or not really recognizing at all) when it comes to what gender someone identifies with or what kind of style someone might want to wear.
MMA fighter Israel Adesanya, certainly a walking/talking/fighting example of culturally accepted macho-ness, is featured in the new campaign for Karen Walker’s “Monumental” line. In advertisements for Walker’s glasses, Adesanya wears a bunch of different styles (some of a more feminine stripe) with and without a shirt; a flower tucked behind his ear in every shot.
To be sure it is a different flower but as Walker says on the Monumental front page: “It just felt like the right time to reassess the concept of modern masculinity. When we talk about what it is to be a man now, it’s such a fluid concept. And yet, there’s also this wonderful permanence. We wanted to capture that. To be subversive and classic at the same time.”
What at one time was being called ‘androgyny’ or ‘gender-bending,’ seems by modern-day paradigms to be simply, the way things are. Surely a flower behind the ear is a soft statement, but it seems Walker, and again, all of us alt. fashion designers, embrace any expression through clothes, accessories, stance and style, no matter who it is doing that expressing. That such a star prime male athlete like Israel Adesanya would star in Karen Walker’s obvious campaign to “reassess the concept of modern masculinity,” speaks well to our times and hopefully where we might be headed.