Transparent's Hari Nef Walks The Runway For Gucci

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Transparent actress and model Hari Nef made her Milan Fashion Week debut yesterday, hitting the runway for Gucci Menswear. It’s an occasion worth celebrating for supporters of trans visibility — a pressing subject about which the 23-year-old wrote for Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter.

In the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning show Transparent, Hari portrays Tante Gittel, an ancestor who appears in visions to Ali, who is played by Gabby Hoffman (who you also know from Dunham’s Girls).

Appearing in flashbacks to 1930s Berlin, Hari’s character is part of a metaphysical period piece that meshes with the show’s setting in current-day Los Angeles. Modeling for Gucci’s menswear show yesterday, as a transgender woman, her all-lipstick-red look was somewhere between couture, ready-to-wear, and Edwardian costume. It featured a bell-shaped wool cape, bucket hat, oversized sunglasses, straight-cut trousers, pilgrim shoes and statement rings. The ensemble was perfectly positioned between gendered conventions we’re accustomed to seeing from the major mainstream fashion houses, not quite identifiably menswear nor womenswear.

Rather than simply riffing off the recent runway trend of having women walk for menswear shows or men walk for womenswear shows, Hari’s turn for Gucci is something like a metaphor for what gender equality supporters strive for. Ideally, there would not need to be a separate show for menswear and womenswear, nor would there be need for the term “gender-neutral.” And if the latest crop of rising designers is any indication—think Vetements, Hood By Air, Eckhaus Latta—gender-neutral fashion is the future.
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