GRANNY FLOWER/MAN POWER BY RACHEL JAMES

Once womenswear designers were thought to be dicing with danger if they dipped their collection in androgyny. Back in the 70s, the masses shielded their eyes at Vivienne Westwood influencing the fairer sex to dress macho for a punchier look. Now that’s all old hat – I step into town and it’s all about women looking like he-shes.

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So, yes, it’s routine for me to yawn when I see girls dressing like boys and it be declared as convention-breaking. It’s not that they don’t look good, it’s just not all that different or exciting anymore.

The real statement lies in the switching up of men’s attire – while womenswear has undergone this period of change, men’s has remained pretty static. That’s because it’s not considered very “manly” for people with XY chromosomes to have some variety in their wardrobe. And that’s a shame, because when menswear gets good, it gets feminine.

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The proof is in designer Rachel James’ SS15 collection: ‘Granny Flower/Man Power’. She’s only just graduated, but she’s come out shooting down the purveyors of masculine archetypes with garments drenched in colour, clashing floral wallpaper prints and 3D shapes. The mix might sound crazy, but speaking to Wonderland, James’ is convinced it appeals to ‘creative men’ who want ‘exciting pieces’.

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This is why the design graduate has ensured the red thread running throughout her collection is functionality. Zips and pockets let us know these aren’t merely exhibition pieces but are seriously ready-to-wear. And if the boys out there intending to wear this gear look anything like the marshmallow-lipped, strong jaw-lined models used in her show, who’s going to object?

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Words: Laura Yuen