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NYFW Wrap 2 - Bondage and Androgyny at HBA, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler

These designers are having a 50 Shades of Grey moment.
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NYFW Wrap 2 - Bondage and Androgyny at HBA, Marc Jacobs, Proenza Schouler
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Love it, hate it or get turned on but it, the world is currently having a 50 Shades Of Grey moment, which is to say that a lot of people have read the book and are now going to see the film, mostly so they can mock them.

Regardless of how it's written or acted, though, the crux of 50 Shades of Grey is actually quite profound: it's essentially a fight between conservatism and progression – between Anastasia Steele's determination to be loved in the traditional way, and Christian Grey's determination to love her, in a hard (sorry not sorry), progressive way.

In the only way it could ever have been in Twilight fan-fiction and in a film that makes over $80 million during opening weekend, traditional values win out in 50 Shades of Grey.

But fashion is a far more progressive medium, and Marc Jacobs, HBA, Proenza Schouler and 60 Worldwide all presented this fight in darker, more insidious ways in their latest collections. If the winter mens' shows and these NYFW womens' shows are anything to go by, in winter 2015-16 we're going to be able to have sex and gender any way we want. Take that Pope Francis.

Marc Jacobs
Like Suno, Marc Jacobs seemed to mine historical literature to create a women who is distinctly ahead of her time. Jacobs presented Victorian silhouettes in a gothic palette to subvert their sweet nature, and to suggest women can look and be feminine and entirely unfeminine at the same time. The hair and makeup (apparently a nod to fashion journalist Diana Vreeland), was heavy and harsh; worn like a mask to do battle in – the kind of mask women wear for the kind of battle women do every day.

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Proenza Schouler
While Proenza Schouler's garments are always structural, they usually pay homage to art or architecture rather than the body. For winter 2015-16, however, they're all about the latter, with cut-outs in bondage dresses neatly revealing interesting, untapped parts of the human body. Add to this the fact that they introduced a male model, and their NYFW presentation felt like a comment on gender, and the importance, or lack thereof, of specific definitions for it.

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HBA
Shayne Oliver has built a reputation for subverting gender and other social stereotypes, via his label Hood By Air – he arguably helped start the current movement towards androgyny. His winter 2015-16, therefore, simply progresses what he's always been about by adding another layer of anonymity to the models via headstockings, and by making those traditionally lame accessories, namely braces – for both teeth and trousers – inimitably cool. I wish HBA was around when I had to wear the former (for four years).

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69 Worldwide
According to Dazed Digital, 69 Worldwide describe themselves as a "No-gender, No-Demographic" and collaborated with DIS magazine during NYFW to practice what they preach. Men wore skirts, dresses and camp-y side-parts, women wore shirts and no makeup. The message? As long it's stone wash denim, anything goes.

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Published on 20th February, 2015 by Courtney Sanders
Follow Courtney on Twitter @misscjsanders

Images via Style.com and Dazed Digital

Liked this? Read more articles about fashion:

1) NYFW Wrap 1 with Alexander Wang, Dion Lee, Suno and Sandy Liang

2) Watch Eckhaus Latta's NYFW Show Feat. Dev Hynes

3) Here's a Go-Pro Video of Victoria Beckham's NYFW Show

4) To Hell With the Critics, Hedi Slimane is Making Ca$h for Saint Laurent

5) Stolen Girlfriends Club's Twin Peaks-Inspired Colection is Here (Winter 2015)

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