High fashion has always been a sector where rules are pushed-- if not broken-- and what was shown at this year's London Fashion Week Men's SS19 was no exception.
At Supernatural, Extraterrestrial & Co., we're prepared to welcome a future of male pregnancy. Model: Daniel Olze @daniolze Xander Zhou Spring/Summer 2019 _ Creatve direction: Xander Zhou @xanderzhou _ brought to you by Xander Zhou Studio team _ Music: Emil Schult @emilschult _ Styling: Gary David Moore @gary_david_moore Casting: Madeleine Østlie @maddeostlie Hair: Kiyoko Odo @kiyokoodo Make-up: Isamaya Ffrench @isamayaffrench Set design: Sophie Durham @_sophiedurham Production: Antony Waller @awandc _ Press Release: Ross Aston @rossaston Front of House Photography: Helle Moos @hellemoos PR: Agency Eleven @agencyeleven Sales: Nana Suzuki @suzukishowroom _ #xanderzhou #ss2019 #LFWM
Male models strode down the catwalk, decked out in the latest fashions. But something new was added to their wardrobe this year; prosthetic bellies.
The Xander Zhou show, which took place on June 11th, had many of their male models fitted with protruding, plastic stomachs that made them look like they were pregnant. Sometimes the clothes included a pocket to see the belly, while other times the models lifted up their clothing to reveal it.
The brand explained their choices via Instagram, saying that their company was prepared to "welcome a future of male pregnancy."
Xander Zhou is not the only brand who has had pregnant models in their show; Opening Ceremony, Glossier, and Eckhaus Latta have all had pregnant women in various campaigns. This was, however, the first time that a pregnant male has appeared at a runway show.
One model who stood out wore a shirt that simply said, "NEW WORLD BABY."
This position of public openness and acceptance towards all genders may be due in part to today's political climate, where the role of gender has become divisive. The LGTBQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community has been pushing for inclusiveness for all people, regardless of the identity of their gender.
The Guardian reports that pregnancy among transgendered men is increasing and that this campaign may be one fashion designer's way of preparing the world for more of this type of pregnancy.
Jason Barker is one such example. Barker was born female but through a gradual transition which included the help of testosterone, he now identifies as male.
Barker's story is complex but included him halting his hormone therapy and fertilizing his eggs. His long-term partner, Tracey, who could not conceive herself, has been by his side for the journey. Their experiences are chronicled in a movie that they made entitled A Deal With the Universe.
The fact that fashion week is including a topic like male pregnancy should come as no surprise. The fashion industry, like most art based industries, have thrived on pushing the status quo.
I wonder what we will see at next year's show.
NEXT: POST-BABY BODY BREAKDOWN