“I want to be a man” is her dream; Dinu’s ultimate dream ever since she can remember. Struggled through school dress codes, family’s understanding, and especially her mother’s happiness, Dinu was finally given an option to at least wear trousers instead of skirts at the age of seven. You could say she is a lucky one when compared to her friend, who was labelled a “she-male”
“They basically called him she-male and you are not a woman because you have something between your legs and it didn’t matter for them the way she feels inside.” Dinu relived her childhood, telling a story of a friend who shared the same dream — A dream to live a true self.
It has been twenty-five years since Dinu’s mother gave her the option of clothing, and today she is eagerly awaiting the operation of her dream, to become a full ‘man’ to express what there is — her identity, her sexuality — inside that bodily female self.
With the surgical procedure, Dinu will have a male genital at last, but for twenty-five years the only thing there is for Dinu to express the true self is clothing. But does it really? Does clothing express one’s identity and sexuality?
Flashing, expensive, innovative as ever, the 2017 Fashion Weeks in the global fashion capitals — Milan, Paris, London and New York — have presented the world through runway with the freshest trends that are likely to be replicated throughout the fashion industry – the streets, the commercial, the high-fashion, and the haut couture.
Some things in Fashion remained unchanged, but that does not mean it won’t.
Over the past seasons, most visibly since 2015, genderless fashion has cat-walked its rise through the bold yet blurred lines of gender identification. This year, London Fashion Week has challenged the gender trends in fashion featuring the “androgynous” brands.
From the futuristic Gareth Pugh to the vintage Art School along side Bruta, and Ignacia Zordan, London Fashion Week have shifted the norm and put gender-neutral styles on spotlight. Menswear, womenswear … who cares.
Dinu Serban is satisfied. He is waiting for the operation that will change his life forever.
Born and assigned a female, Dinus challenges his destiny by wearing men clothing, cutting hair short and taking hormones resulting in deeper voice.
These define how he really feels about himself and how he wants to be seen by the judgmental society. But at the end of the day, Dinus is still a woman.
In his early 30’s Dinu still remembers how confused he felt as a child. Getting the surgical procedure will finally give him masculine genital at last. But for 32 years, he only had fashion to help him. Still he admits that wearing certain type of clothes doesn’t define your sexuality.
He always knew he was a boy but admits that everything became clearer when he was about seven. At that age, his mom gave him the choice to decide what to wear. Skirts weren’t the mandatory outfit as they used to be before.
Olivia Ponford, Criminology student at the University of Westminster, has always been socially labelled as “a tomboy” simply for wearing boyish clothing: loose t-shirts and jeans. On her side of the story, comfort is what matters and her choice of clothing – girlish or boyish – depends on how she feels
She believes the way people dresses doesn’t identify their sexuality. “it’s all about who you are,” Olivia said.
Benedit Seb, a final year student at Cental Saint Martins College of Art and Design explained about Androgynous fashion dating back to the 18th century. The term Androgynous used to describe people who demonstrated feminine and masculine characteristics and this concept has changed over the years. She explains the role that fashion plays in our society and believes fashion doesn’t define who we are or our personality as identity is something very abstract and people are constantly in a mission of discovery which it doesn’t necessarily define the way we are. She says that fashion is the way people maintain their social order and social disapproval comes when people decide to step outside the box as it happens with Androgynous fashion. Western society is late with Androgynous fashion.
“Society imposes limit: Identity and Subjectivity”
Mr Turner considers that the fact that catwalks around the world are bringing up more and more examples of genderless fashion, doesn’t mean that there will be a change of minds on the streets. High couture designers and fashionistas work to create pieces of art that in mostly of the occasion never see the light to the public.
In his opinion, even when designers create something different, there is still a “female versus male” reaction. A menswear collection with feminine touches is still created ultimately for men.
Society has a strong power in deciding people’s clothing choices. Social trends spread viral across social media like Instagram and it guides us to what we think we are socially allowed to wear. Mr. Turner explain that this social rules have help transgender people to go through their process and changes. Although he agrees with people who claim they can dress however they want he warns about the most dangerous imposed limits, the intrapsychic ones, for which a person stop itself based on the concepts they were raised with.
As genderless fashion has become more of a trend in the fashion industry absorbed by netizens through social media, we have created an Instagram account @seethere.hearthat to ask people the very question we are eager to find answers: Does clothing express your true self, your identity, your sexuality?
Given catchy hashtags #IDontGender and #IDontGiveAGender users have responded with interesting answers.
May Worada, a model from Thailand said: “to me all traces of gender in clothing are socially constructed… I wear what I want, I wear what I am comfortable in.”
@maywora a #model who likes to wear whatever comfortable. > > > ” Some say I look butch, some say I should be accentuating my femininity … But to me all traces of gender in clothing are socially constructed … I wear what I want, I wear what I am comfortable in. I am not a woman, but a human being. I should be able to be professional in a pinstriped pant suit and heel-less leather shoes. It shouldn’t make any difference to anyone I’m doing business with that I dress myself with what they say is fit for a man and not for a woman. #IDontGender #IDontGiveAGender
Slightly different for Touche, who defines self as a ladyboy, says clothes represent identity but not sexuality.
The #daring #edgy #unique @tsxzh who says clothes do #represent identity but #not sexuality. > > > ” I don’t think about sexuality whether Im wearing dress or skirt, I just want to wear what I want, it’s my fucking body, I just love to challenge myself with different style and silhouette. I’d say clothes do represent my identity but not my sexuality which is there for society to judge though. I wear it because I love it, most of my clothes do represent who I really am along with my own style and sense of fashion. Be different, fuck gender”. #IDontGender #IDontGiveAGender