“Deconstructing gender” has been fashion’s go-to place for a statement for some time now, and yet putting this phrase into practice takes a little more effort. My own professor in fashion once said, “Put a male and female mannequin next to each other and they are more similar than they are different,” which is very true — until you start cutting fabric for the garments that will hang from them. The way physical differences skew on average means that “unisex” generally refers to amorphous shapes that mostly obscure the body.

Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. Take designer Morinaga Kunihiko’s Anrealage collaboration with sportswear label Champion that was released on Jan. 9, which features pieces cut as expansive spheres, pyramids and cubes, but also drape elegantly over the body. The word “over” is key here, and there is nothing that clings to or reveals the body. That act of negating the gender of the body has been the defining feature of most mainstream unisex collections until now, a good match for the Japanese sense of space — ma — between fabric and body. It is essentially a design decision that invites the wearer to decide just how much they want to gender the garment, perhaps belted in high to reveal a waist or allowed to hang free. The collection is also significantly cheaper than mainline catwalk Anrealage items, making this a good way to get involved for fans on a budget.

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