The Tuxedo: Then and Now

‘Le Smoking’ by Helmut Newton, 1975 : The Row AW11 Collection

When transgender Andrej Pejic took the modelling world by storm, appearing in nearly every editorial and runway in early 2011, was it any wonder that androgynous dressing would soon follow, taking centre stage this Autumn/Winter season? The runways have been taken over by masculine shapes including tailored trousers, pressed white shirts and super-sized slouchy jackets and overcoats, composing a fresh take on the classic boyfriend blazer that we saw not all that long ago. Dolce and Gabbana, Alexander Wang, Moschino and the Olsen twins’ line The Row were just a few of the designers reinvigorating the YSL inspired trend. ‘Le Smoking’ was one of the first tuxedo suits for women of its’ kind, created in 1966 by Yves Saint Laurent. It established the minimalist and androgynous styles for women, which was popularised by Helmut Newton’s famous photograph of a woman donning slicked-back hair in a three-piece suit. It is said that Yves Saint Laurent’s suit has empowered women by giving them the option to wear clothes that were normally worn by men with influence and power.  This season, we can expect to see a lot of girls dressing head-to-toe in their boyfriend’s attire, and who knows what they’ll be wearing, with talk of high heels for men becoming the next big trend to follow…watch this space.