And the category is gender fluidness! I wanted to write about this topic because I find that gender fluidity should be fully integrated in every society. Perhaps this is an image that is stuck within my mind and perhaps is far from reality. Therefore I think we need to keep talking about gender fluidness!

I remember when little me was growing up I always wanted to be a girl. Not that I felt like a girl but I found girls just fascinating. They had prettier hair and nicer clothes and dresses. So as a little boy I remember I told my mother that I wanted to be a girl, while I was drawing a princess in a big dress and long curly hair on the fogged window of the kitchen backdoor. This was 38 years ago. This image of myself I will carry with me for the rest of my life. It also became part of my signature as a designer and therefore a very important part of who I am and perhaps a part I will never stop investigating. I call it my feminine me within my male appearance. For me they together evolved as an important symbioses where both genders create a neutral territory.

What is gender fluidity?

Gender fluidity refers to change over time in a person’s gender expression or gender identity, or both. That change might be in expression, but not identity, or in identity, but not expression. Or both expression and identity might change together. 

I don’t describe myself as being gender fluid, I have the feeling I just listen very well to my inner feminine voice. I am male in appearance but I never hardly think of what gender I am. Just when I am confronted in simple things like going to the toilet or looking at my drivers license or passport or when I look in the mirror. The rest is just neutral territory for me which I think is very liberating. 

Unified genders in fashion

Because I find this liberating feeling very important, I wanted to incorporate this neutral feeling within my work and create a space for it. This space can be found in our no gender label ‘Unified’. 

Within this neutral territory we create fashion items that carry the no gender standard. Here gender is fluid and goes hand in hand with each other as the symbioses does within me. There are no boundaries and no limits. Every launch we try to reach out to the max and evolve beyond our last editions. Our latest, and perhaps the item I am most proud of, is the ruffled chiffon genderless dress in shades of greens and goldwork embroidery applications. This unique and one of a kind piece we showed at the finale of our runway presentation. We hope this item will get the gender fluidity topic going and will heat up some discussions about genderless fashion.

Does dark fashion have a gothic origin? Dark fashion is it a trend? Is it a lifestyle? Is it a believe? What is it? Often compared with the gothic fashion, it certainly is not the same. They do have something in common though. Both clothing styles are marked by a dark and mysterious feel and homogeneous colors, mostly black. 

History of Gothic

To understand the origin of dark fashion clothing I’ll give a quick summery of the origin of the gothic subculture. The early 80’s were a time of changing perspectives on the world. The time of a love and peace mindset changed into ‘we have to fight for what we believe’. It became a time of many protests against the established order. This brought also new visions, a new energy, and thus many new genres of music. From post punk and new wave sprung the gothic-rock scene. Darker sounds, arrangements and dramatic melancholic melodies. This gave birth to the gothic subculture with themes as dark romanticism, tragedy, compassion mingled with melancholy, morbidity and the supernatural. These are adopted from the architecture, literature and arts, from the late 18th century, also know as the Neo-gothic and Romantic era. The Gothic scene adopted also its fashion elements such as corsets, velvets and petticoats which gave it its signature look when we think of Goths. We can say the Gothic scene is still very much alive today as we look at the many sub-scenes that sprung from it. 

Dark fashion a Gothic origin

Now back to the question; does dark fashion have a gothic origin? I would very much say yes! So what is the difference between the Gothic scene and Dark fashion? My explanation would be that many fashion designers look and study many subcultures and shape it through their own image and hand to translate it into their own vision. To say it in an easier way, they look for inspiration often in subcultures. Now we all know how inspiration works. It’s an element of creation. In order to create something new we need tot have inspiration. So when we let the Gothic scene inspire us it doesn’t mean that the outcome will look similar. Often the basic emotions still can be sensed but the look can be totally different. That’s why dark fashion can look very futuristic but still carries the emotions of dark romanticism. Mostly represented by the color black with some hints of grays or other darker or muted colors.

Elements of dark fashion

Glamgoth or glunge can certainly be found within the dark fashion scene. It’s where gothic meets glamour or glamour meets grunge. Both with a dark aesthetic with a glamorous raw edge. Within dark fashion many types of silhouettes can be found. From tailored to a wide fit or layered and from glamour to casual. All have in common that the black colored looks mostly have a stronger silhouette. The dark fashion style can be found with women’s wear and men’s wear. But also unisex items are becoming more common, as the color black makes no distinction in gender regarding to shapes. Meaning black is an ideal color to make a more feminine shape become more masculine and vise versa. 

Dark fashion designers

When we think of dark fashion clothes most of you will think of Rick Owens, whose ground breaking collections earned him the name The lord of Darkness. But also Alexander McQueen had a dark interpretation to fashion when you look into the concept behind the clothes, while Sarah Burton’s collections are a much milder but more refined version. Yohji Yamamoto can certainly also be associated with dark fashion especially his commercial brand S’YTE. And let’s not forget Rei Kawakubo for COMME des GARÇONS, which early adopters of the brand were derisively referred to as “black crows.” 

Is dark fashion a trend?

Can we say dark fashion is a trend? As trends go by quick I would say not. Dark fashion is amongst us already for quite some time by now and it will be there for quite some more years to come as it still is very much alive. This we can say because dark fashion itself already has its own subcultures emerging like Dark wear, Tech wear. Is it a lifestyle, a believe? I think for the hardcore Rick Owens fans I would say yes, with a wink. There are numerous dedicated people with daily posts on instagram showing off their latest fashion investments. But for many people dark fashion might be just a choice of fashion, but certainly not a believe.    

Haruco-vert and dark fashion

This said, why do I dedicate this blog to Dark Fashion? When writing my blogs I try little by little to explain what Haruco-vert is all about. And dark fashion also plays a part in the Haruco-vert Universe. We flirt a little with dark fashion in most of our expressions, be it the clothing itself, our photography or even our music for our fashion films. Although we use many colors as well, a lot of our pieces can be part of a dark fashion outfit or wardrobe I would say. So explained what this fashion style is, perhaps it is time to discover your inner dark fashion self within your wardrobe? I bet you can find an item which you can wear in a dark fashion way!

More and more people believe that clothes should be genderless. As Haruco-vert’s designer I believe that too. Of course people should always dress in what they feel most comfortable in. Whether that is masculine, feminine, or somewhere within the human spectrum. In the end we are all human with a common origin. To contribute to a more genderless fashion I decided last year to make it part of our mission.

Mission statement

We believe that by reimagining fashion we can inspire others to be more (self)conscious. In all our sustainably designed items we challenge textures and shapes to evolve in an elegant roughness. All our collections are made for people who dare to make a statement, regardless of age, size or gender(identity).

Unified; genderless fashion

All people should be able to dress as they want and to be able to express themselves accordingly. That’s why we expanded our fashion label with a unisex sublabel named ‘Unified’. This is where male and female elements intertwine in genderless fashion. With this we contribute to creating a neutral sanctuary, making room to express yourself with fashion anyway you like. With our Unified items we hope to contribute to a more open unisex fashion world where much is still unexplored.

All items within our unisex label ‘Unified’ can be worn neutral or with a masculine or feminine approach. This depends on how you style it, but most importantly what you radiate. Fabrics with a tougher look we soften through adding elements as chiffon. Also using fabrics, such a classic pinstripe, in an unexpected way so the outcome is not an expected masculine suit but a sweater. Which is an item that is not associated with a particular gender.

The genderless clothing items we created within Unified are therefore very suitable items for a joint wardrobe. Knowing that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting industries a joint wardrobe gives more usage out of your garments. This is in line of Haruco-verts sustainable mindset. And besides all, how cool is it to able to share your clothes with your loved ones!

Since we founded our fashion brand Haruco-vert in the beginning of 2007 we soon noticed that it was a remarkable name. People came up with the funniest name corruptions. So let’s go through a few of them!

On the first place is the most common name corruption of our fashion brand, especially amongst the Dutch, is Haricots vert, the green bean. It’s the first thing our name is associated with as apparently the Dutch have those quite a lot on their menu. Funny enough the French (as haricots vert is a French word) don’t have this association at all. Harico-vert is another corruption we see. It is almost right but still too much thinking of the green bean here. We also come across Haricovert, without the hyphen, quite sometime. Although the hyphen is silent we don’t blame people. This way of writing also occurs when people think of Haricots verts but don’t know how to write it.

We applaud people who write ‘harucovert’, as this is what it comes to, because all the letters right. Sometimes people will even write HA.RU.CO~VERT. Also in this case we applaud to people, as they have written our brand completely according to our first logo image.

Haruco-vert what does it mean?

Why did we choose for this difficult name in the first place? Well perhaps time to tell you. Haruco is a combination of the first letters of our first names. Also Haruco is a Japanese female name. Its most common translation is “spring child”. Spring reminds us of young, fresh and green. As we are inspired by Japanese art, fashion and fashion items such as the kimono we found Haruco a very suitable name to use. Combining Haruco with the French word for green, which is ‘vert’, Haruco-vert was born. An international touch by just using a combination of the first letters of our first names and mostly inspired by the Japanse national historical garments and art it just seemed right for us. That’s why we chose the difficult name Haruco-vert as our brand name. It just sticks to you or it doesn’t!

New logo

Since 2007 when we started Haruco-vert we had our first logo designed. After 15 years we found it time to update our logo and make it more fresh. So it is time to present you with our new haruco-vert logo!

 

For the Dutch version click here.

 

haruco-vert logo

haruco-vert logo