With the line between genders in fashion more blurred than ever, there’s a wave of men going against convention, donning dresses in poignant declarations that masculinity is being redefined and telling the world that there’s more to menswear than tailoring. We at CULTED wanted to dissect the movement, and check out who’s been a driving force for dudes in dresses historically.
Young Thug, despite the name, is one of the most fashion-forward in the rap world, often spotted dressing androgynously and, in the process, grabbing widespread attention. The most famous example of this is his No, My Name is Jeffery album cover art, which depicts Thug in a billowing lavender dress along with a shirt, large hat and customary iced-out jewellery. Garfield Larmond, the photographer of the now-iconic image, said that Thug knew he wanted to wear the dress the second he saw it in a meeting with VFILES founder Julie Anne-Quay in New York.
Designed by Alessandro Trincone, the dress was created with the same ethos we often see Thug embody, with Trincone channelling androgyny and gender fluidity: “The androgynous identity of my inspirational garments reinforces my belief of no-gender boundaries between men and women,” he says. The young Italian designer’s response to the artwork was wholesome as well: “I couldn’t sleep for the feelings that I felt—so excited, so happy and so proud of it all. I’m so happy to collaborate with Young Thug.” The dress is beautiful, and Young Thug paid the price, with the piece taking him over an hour to get into and countless hours of shooting.
At the height of his Hollywood superstardom, Brad Pitt and Rolling Stone Magazine came together to style the actor – who through his appearance in Fight Club the same year, was the epitome of male dominance and a pillar of traditional masculinity – in a plethora of sequin-laden dresses, white gloves, and exaggerated diamond hoops. In a further juxtaposition of the traditional man and woman, the muscular star flexes in a pink bodycon dress. At the time, Brad was a rarity, laying the foundation for many, many more to come after him in the movement of dresses for men.
P Diddy, another rap heavyweight one would never expect to find on this list, donned a kilt for a performance in Scotland back in 2010. Just like Thug, for a man who rapped Bad Boys For Life to be in a silhouette like this came as a surprise to many.
Post is no stranger to the dress, with many appearances on record. The most famous example of this came by way of a live streamed tribute to Kurt Cobain, where the Western rapper wore a floral dress akin to the one Cobain wore on stage decades prior. In typical Post Malone fashion, however, he spiced up the look with a silver choker and a brown trucker.
In another juxtaposition of otherworldly levels of traditional – muscular, tough and rugged – masculinity and more feminine garmenture, action movie star Vin Diesel took to the MTV Music Awards in 2003 wearing a black pleated leather skirt with combat boots and a form-fitting long sleeve. As with Brad Pitt, this came as a surprise from the man fresh off of an appearance in The Fast and The Furious.
Jaden is uncompromising in his lifestyle, be it fashion or music. He’s been seen in the style countless times, his reason being admirably simple and progressive: “in five years when a kid goes to school wearing a skirt, he won’t get beat up and kids won’t get mad at him. It just doesn’t matter. I’m taking the brunt of it so that later on, my kids and the next generations of kids will all think that certain things are normal that weren’t expected before my time.”
More on CULTED
See also: IS 2021 THE YEAR OF THE MASK IN MUSIC?
See also: EMINEM: CONTROVERSIES AND COMEBACKS