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Harry Styles’ Vogue cover may be historic, but it’s not radical

HArry Styles, the singer formerly known in One Direction, became the very first Vogue. (Other famous men like Justin Bieber, Richard Gere, and Styles’ ex-teammate Zayn Malik posed for the brilliant, but they always did it alongside the women.)

He looks magnificent. The cover, taken by photographer Tyler Mitchell, features Styles in a light blue Victorian-style Gucci ball gown. In the accompanying images, he also wore a Comme des Garçons kilt and a Harris Reed petticoat.

“You can never be overdressed. There is nothing like it, ”Styles told Hamish Bowles, VogueEuropean editor-in-chief and author of the profile. He cites his fashion influences as “showmen” like Prince, David Bowie, Elvis, Freddie Mercury and Elton John.

Styles spoke in the article about shopping in the women’s section of clothing stores. His personal stylist, Harry Lambert, added that the singer has “a new army of mini handbags”. Alessandro Michele, creative director of Gucci and friend of Styles, called the singer a “revolutionary” who is “really in touch with his feminine side”.

Of course, the sight of a famous man in a robe is neither new nor transgressive, at least in the world of high fashion. Vogue knows this, and cites times when male musicians tiptoeed their way ever so smoothly through gender binary lines – Mick Jagger in a romantic white robe singing in Hyde Park in 1969, Kurt Cobain in a dress printed on the cover of The face magazine.

It’s also not uncommon to see a binary blur between the sexes in the world of high fashion. French designer Jean Paul Gaultier shocked audiences on the catwalks when he launched a men’s skirt, but that was in 1985. Since then, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Kenzo and Rei Kawakubo have released their own designs.

“What’s really exciting is that all of those lines are falling apart,” Styles said. “When you take out ‘There is men’s clothing and there is women’s clothing,” once you remove the barriers, you obviously open the arena where you can play. . It’s like anything – every time you put up barriers in your own life, you are just limiting yourself. There is so much joy in playing with the clothes. I’ve never really given too much thought to what that means – it just becomes that extended part of creating something.

Of course, as a white cisgender male, Styles has the privilege of not having to “think too much about what it means” to put on a dress. No matter how thirsty these photos may be, and if you ask Stan’s Twitter the answer is: very—Styles remains an extremely conventional choice for VogueHe is the first man. (Glossy, which has been the subject of a few talks this summer about its lack of inclusion, has fallen behind when it comes to promoting genuine diversity.)

Indeed, most of the male styles listed as influences were gay, bisexual, or at least encouraged visual expressions of queerness at a time when he was really pissed off doing it. Styles no doubt knows this, but has refrained from saying anything meaningful about sexuality or gender identity other than, basically: I like to play dress-up.

It’s reminiscent of a time a Guardian reporter asked Styles about his sexuality, and he replied, “It’s: we do not care? Does this make sense? It’s just: we do not care?Answer: Many jurisdictions around the world where being LGBTQ is prohibited or subject to severely enforced stigma.

In this country, “religious freedom” is currently used in courts, including the Supreme Court, and state legislatures as a weapon against LGBTQ people and their civil rights. It would be great to hear celebrities talk about things like this in high profile interviews as freely as they borrow from the LGBTQ costume box, and say that sexuality isn’t a big deal to them.

Styles has supported the community in his own way: waving the rainbow flag at concerts, helping a fan come to see his mom, and saying things on stage like, “I mean, we’re all kinda gay, isn’t it? ? He spoke at length about his attempts to make his tours inclusive, recounting Rolling stone, “I want people to feel comfortable being who they want to be. Maybe at a show you can have a moment of knowing that you are not alone.

His fans generally see him as an ally, and don’t seem to mind his reluctance to speak directly about sexuality. “It doesn’t seem political to me,” he said in an interview in French. “Things like equality seem much more fundamental.” This is true, but it is not universally appreciated, hence the need for continued LGBTQ activism.

in the Guardian interview, Styles addressed her fluid aesthetic. “Am I sprinkled with nuggets of sexual ambiguity to try and be more interesting?” No, he said. “When it comes to how I want to dress and what the album cover will be like, I tend to make decisions in terms of who I want to work with. I want things to look a certain way. Not because it makes me look gay, or it makes me look straight, or it makes me look bisexual, but because I think it’s cool. And more than that, I don’t know, I just think sex is fun. If only the law and the policy makers agreed.

When requested by The Guardian About his own sexuality, Styles declined to comment and basically said it’s none of your business. “What I would say, about all that is asked about my sexuality, is work where you might be asked. . . You respect that someone will ask. And you hope they respect, maybe they won’t get a response.

Vogue doesn’t ask him such questions, nor about his broader political views, yet Styles is supported by the magazine as an avatar of the Cultural Revolution.

Either way, the pictures are gorgeous. Looks like everyone had a blast on the cover. Of course Styles for having fun with his dressing room after his 40s where he admitted to wearing “sweatpants, constantly.” And kudos to him for being the first solo man on the cover of Vogue. He’s just not, by far, the first man to proudly wear a dress – or have something to say about it.

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