Ditching boys and girls from children’s clothing, at last
“Gender-neutral clothing provides an expansion of options for young children,” Telfer said. “Choosing gender-neutral clothing allows them to express who they are outside society’s binary norms for girls and boys. While some children may prefer stereotypically gendered clothing designs that align with their gender, others may not. Having this option will be great for these young children.”
“Clothing can differentiate and connect us, it can make us feel comfortable and confident. It does this for people of any age and, without restricting these choices to align with gender expectations, everyone can find clothing that brings them joy.”
With items priced from $60-$80, Bigeni’s children’s collection is made-to-order, like his adults’ range, in the interests of sustainability. The over-sized approach is a way of tapping into current trends as well as extending the lifespan of a T-shirt dress.
The sustainability and economic benefits of gender-neutral clothing were enough to encourage Alana Tiller to launch her retro-inspired clothing range Goldie + Ace in Melbourne four years ago.
“The original concept was beautiful clothing that can be passed down to siblings,” Tiller said. “It came from a sustainability angle but has evolved into so much more now.”
Tiller has also reclaimed the much-maligned dinosaur print for everyone by placing it on a dress, with unexpected and satisfying results.
“We saw a photo of a little boy wearing it, and he looked so happy. We do have dresses but everything else is gender-neutral, and it’s wonderful that he wanted to wear this piece. These conversations weren’t happening when I started, but it’s great that we are having them now.”
Dinosaurs are unlikely to stomp into Bigeni’s aesthetic, who emerged on the Australian design scene in 2003, creating exquisite silk dresses in minimalist silhouettes that stood out on the Australian Fashion Week runway season after season. In recent years his approach has shifted to reflect his own colourful personal style which started when he was young.
“When I was little I went to Supré with my mum and saw a fluorescent coloured singlet and shorts that she bought me. I loved it so much that I kept it in her wardrobe so that my brother, who I shared a room with, wouldn’t ruin it. I didn’t know if it was for boys or girls and I didn’t care.”
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