Girls who are boys
They can switch up their look and transform from a man into a woman in the blink of an eye. They model men’s and women’s clothes and on stage you hardly know that the super sexy woman model is, well, actually a male. Andrej Pejic, Lea T. and Tilda Swinton are just few of the androgynous models. The boundaries between men and women were never so blurry.
In the 21st century it seems like boundaries no longer exist. Internet and smart phones bridge gaps of place and time, unisex clothes blur the differences between male and female. When it comes to fashion, designers and photographers are a crucial part of this tendency. Not only do they create fashion items that can fit both men and women, they are also using androgynous models that dare fashion visions and axiom as we know them.
Biologically speaking, androgynous is a human being who has both a male and female reproductive system. Androgynous models manage to ignite the imagination of many fashion designers and photographers.
Andrej Pejic is one of the most successful androgynous models out there. He was born in Serbia and always had a very unique and gentle look. Though his first steps in the fashion industry weren’t so easy, nowadays you can see him on the runways and on a plethora of fashion magazine covers.
Whereas other androgynous models specialize in modeling women’s or men’s wear, Pejic is most famous for his ability to model both genders. In January of 2011, Pejic walked for Jean Paul Gaultier during Paris Fashion Week dressed as a woman, and in Marc Jacobs’ show he modeled menswear. He also participated in Burberry Prosum fashion show and looked gorgeous on the runway surrounded by beautiful female models. Lately Pejic has been leading a campaign for a mega push-up bra for the Dutch company, Hema.
However, Andrej Pejic is not the only androgynous model you can see on ads. Brazilian Lea T. is another famous androgynous model, who Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci called “a true Goddess.” In 2010 she became the face of Givenchy and in January of 2011 she walked for Alexandre Herchcovitch during Sao Paolo fashion week. Her modeling career included several appearances on fashion magazines covers. Most controversial was the cover for Love Magazine where she was featured kissing Kate Moss.
Tilda Swinton is a talented actress and a beautiful model who easily transforms herself from female to male. She is the face of Pringle of Scotland Fashion House and inspired a full Viktor & Rolf collection in 2003. Her ability to blur the boundaries between traditional genders was evident both on the runways and on the big screen where she played the role of Mozart in the movie “Orlando”.Late top designer Alexander McQueen also noticed the exotic androgynous trend. In his last menswear collection, McQueen included David Chiang, another famous androgynous model. Chiang is the first Asian male model ever to walk for Italian label Emporio Armani. His soft skin and smooth hair along with delicate facial features caught the eyes of fashion photographers such as Steven Klein and paved Chiang’s way to many well-known fashion magazines.
Androgynous models show more than anything that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. The fashion world has more than enough room to express every phenomena and style. The question is -- can you enjoy the show no matter who walks on the runway? If the answer is yes, we can be sure -- fashion has won.