The concept of wearing “some guy’s” clothing, especially your boyfriend’s, is a trope frequently revisited in all corners of culture, from being a universal symbol of high school love in films to one of laid-back ambivalence in fashion. Traditionally oversized, boxy and easy-to-wear, we’ve socially attached these aesthetics to masculinity, so when worn by a femme figure, there’s a perceived gender balance—looks teetering on the binary.
For designer Claudia Li, this relationship was a catalyst for her spring ’17 collection, finding softness in masc silhouettes and subverting “some guy’s” dress to build a narrative that fights the binary with femininity. Li considered the “moments before dusk and dawn” when people have no inhibitions and reject reality entirely. It’s in these late-night, hazy moments that we oft forget who’ve been taught to be, and instead define ourselves based on emotion—on intuition. Li’s presentation did just the same—nothing overly contrived or conceptual, which is rare for a designer dabbling with the nuances of gender noncomfornity.
Blue denim had a strong presence this season—a staple for Claudia Li—but the designer played around more with delicate embroideries and romantic draping, both of which provided softness. “Some guy’s” silhouettes appeared as wide-legged trousers, jackets and classic shirts—elements like lapels and suiting buttons were enlarged, adding whimsy to otherwise stiff, “masculine” design elements. But Li’s vision found its strength in a shimmering gold jacket with matching culottes, both decorated with white floral applications—surreal and lifted from the pages of a storybook.