While majority would write this off as the changing of times, or the turning of tables, could this also be look upon as yet another means for men to subjugate women – by successfully pulling off traditionally feminine clothing?
A few days ago, Alibaba’s e-commerce giant Taobao released a fashion report that made a bold prediction: in ten years’ time, Chinese women will swing towards a more masculine way of dressing and each one of them will own an average of two suits. The premise of the report was based off of search results analytics conducted by Taobao, whereby search volume for masculine suits clocked over 300%.
On the other hand, searches made by male users on products like lace, see-through clothing, earrings and floral shirts saw a significant increase.
The Freaky Friday-like turn in the fashion fraternity has never been more at a pinnacle; 2019 hitherto has eclipsed the Guyliners, BB creams and man buns of yesteryears with mirts (man skirts for you; GQ has declared 2019 to be the year men will start wearing skirts), Oscars peacocking (we’re talking about this) and prints.
Together with Aquaman’s scrunchie, those aren’t isolated incidents of sartorial boundary pushing. But Chinese men’s spiking interest in lace and now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t apparels hardly qualifies for ‘boundary pushing’. It has egregiously crossed over to the no-man’s boundary, and it calls for closer scrutiny into fashion trends that are being put out into the open by Singaporeans’ favourite online furniture thrift store.
The prospect of having your senses assaulted by Lace Men remains to be seen; predictions are just predictions, and search results are just search results. They don’t necessarily translate into actionable donning. In their zeal to generate buzz over gender fluidity, perhaps Taobao had neglected how male shoppers might simply be procuring less covered-up get-ups for their increasingly masculine other halves.