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In exploring the diverse expressions of personal identity and style, one intriguing aspect that emerges is the choice of some men to wear women’s clothing. This phenomenon transcends simple fashion preferences, tapping into deeper discussions about gender identity, societal norms, and personal freedom. The motivations and implications of this choice can vary widely, encompassing psychological, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions. In this detailed exploration, we aim to understand the nuanced reasons behind this preference and how it reflects broader societal changes.


Historical and Cultural Context

The Tradition of Cross-Dressing

Cross-dressing has historical roots that reach back to ancient civilizations, where men often donned attire typically worn by women for religious, theatrical, or ceremonial purposes. In many cultures, these practices were not only accepted but celebrated as essential elements of tradition and storytelling. Understanding this historical context sheds light on how modern perceptions of clothing and gender norms are culturally constructed and subject to change.


Psychological Perspectives

Exploring Identity and Expression

For many men, wearing women’s clothing is a profound way to explore personal identity. It can serve as an expression of a gender identity that does not conform to traditional male stereotypes or as a way to explore the fluidity of gender. Psychologists suggest that this can be a therapeutic exercise for some, providing a sense of relief from the constraints imposed by conventional gender roles.

The Role of Autogynephilia

Autogynephilia, a term coined in the context of sexual psychology, describes a male’s paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought of oneself as female. This concept, although controversial and not universally accepted, is often part of the conversation when discussing why some men are drawn to wearing women’s clothing.


Aesthetic Appreciation and Comfort

Fashion as Art

Beyond gender identity or psychological factors, some men simply appreciate the aesthetic of

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In this project at The Hythe, designers from Slifer Designs incorporated wildlife paintings into the overall look.
Courtesy photo

Slifer Designs’ tagline, “Designed for Your Story,” applies to all facets of interior design, but one of the prominent ways it comes into play is through art. Just like the creativity, technique and skill that goes into generating a unique piece of art, placing it in the home takes a special eye.

It all begins with deeply listening to clients about what they want and how they use their space. This discovery process acts as an inspiration to start the design process. As they install furnishings and finishes, and handle all of the logistics, they also pay special attention to artwork.

“Art is a great way to bring the soul of the client into the home,” said Oshi Gardarian, lead designer at Slifer Designs.



A feather painting works well in this bedroom designed by Slifer Designs.
Courtesy image

While it’s easy to select appealing pieces, it’s not always easy to know where to place them, how to choose the proper scale for a wall or room, or how to group smaller items neatly.

“We try to think about design as a story. When you walk through the home, you want it to be the same story.” Oshi Gardarian, Slifer Designs

Gardarian recommends first sticking with your region — in this case, art that reflects the natural environment, from mountains and forests to Rocky Mountain wildlife. For example, a recent redesign of a penthouse in The Hythe building in Lionshead includes depictions of deer, from a triptych to Pendelton-upholstered mule deer mounts and a piece portraying mama deer with her babies.

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“We try to think about design as a story. When you walk through the home,

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A pair of new exhibitions at the Gibsons Public Art Gallery invites visitors to peer through history using radically different perspectives. 

In Tam Harrington’s Fashion, a Complex Relationship, ornate garments fashioned from repurposed metal and plastics stand ready to adorn women from ancient Egypt, medieval Europe, and Havana night clubs.  

Within the colourful frames of Strata, arrayed in the Eve Smart Gallery, acrylic and glass shaped by Linda Suffidy depict the seductively grooved contours of deep time. 

Both artists met with members of the public during an opening reception on Feb. 17. Attendees stood among the mannequins adorned by Harrington, punctuating its parade of feminine power. Each piece by the Gibsons-based artist and educator is inspired by a period or woman who influenced her creative journey. 

“Clothing can be about progressive change or it can be about holding women back,” said Harrington. “That’s why so many of the things that have hoops are like cages, keeping the woman inside.” Harrington’s regalia for Queen Elizabeth I includes a hooped petticoat (known as a farthingale) that defines a boundary around the regent while pinpointing her as a centre of attention. Its high ruff collar is made from intricately joined strips of metal splayed from the neckline, simultaneously exalting and protecting. 

The association of Harrington’s wearable art with armour is unmistakable, whether in its three-dimensional realization or in her ink drawings accentuated by acrylic paint. The Ten Commandments Bra & Venus Flytrap Thong exudes seductive allure alloyed with adamantine brawn. 

Her assemblage Mur de Fluer evokes the practice that arose in 12th-century China for embroidering clothing with flowers and scenes of nature. But there are no shrinking violets in Harrington’s sculpture: leaves and petals are realized as gleaming flanges and tines. Her Bra for Breast Cancer Awareness is a barbed bandeau that

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In Singapore, where graffiti is banned, young creatives have taken over an abandoned mall, spray painting colourful murals and holding art workshops to bring the space back to life.

Around half a century old, Peace Centre is scheduled to face the wrecking ball later this year, but fans say it has provided a rare space for self- expression.

Permission from authorities is required for any kind of street art in the Southeast Asian country.

In August last year, PlayPan, an initiative co-founded by entrepreneur Gary Hong, convinced developers to postpone the mall’s demolition.

The answer the initiative’s backers received was that they could go ahead and use the space for “a social experiment to bring (the) community together”, Hong told AFP.

They were given the space to host performances and workshops for several months, allowing artists, students, charities and small businesses to set up shop for free or at heavily discounted rates.

The eclectic mix of pop-up stores, art tours and musical performances has transformed the once lacklustre mall into an unexpected art haven.

At the end of January, however, the mall will close definitively, bringing an end to the art project.

Peace Centre was once a popular mall but lost its shine to glitzier shopping centres that mushroomed over recent years.

In the last two decades it was mostly known for its printing shops and seedy karaoke lounges.

Since its revamp into an art space, young people have attended graffiti workshops, colouring shuttered shopfronts with spray cans while punters browsed through second-hand clothing stalls and exhibits.

“It’s not something you do on a normal weekend, less so inside an indoor area, in a mall,” said Darryl Poh, a 29-year-old sales trader who took part in a spray-painting workshop.

‘Very organic’

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As schoolchildren, we often sketched an idealized depiction of country life with square houses with thatched roofs surrounded by a rice field and several coconut trees. The sun was always shining or peeking behind perfectly placed mountains, and the family unit consisted of mom, dad and kids.

robinsons
Photo shows (from left) Visions of Sereni3 artists Joel Janer, Eliezer Dimaculangan and Gabz Mendiola Jr.; Mother and Child by Gabz Mendiola Jr.; Silent Sanctuary by Eliezer Dimaculangan; Balik Tanaw (series 6) by Joel Janer

There’s a sense of that uncanny perfection in the oil paintings of three San Mateo-based artists featured in the ongoing ARTablado group exhibit at Robinsons Antipolo (upper ground floor, main mall).

Eliezer Dimaculangan, Gabz Mendiola and Joel Janer have been painting for years, participating in numerous group shows as well as having the spotlight trained on them in their respective solo shows.

Dimaculangan is a visual artist specializing in landscape paintings and is partial to a vibrant palette with a touch of the abstract. His paintings are a mix of the natural and the manmade—mountains, oceans and waterfalls, white doves and playful fish but also ancient stone archways, mossy stairs and glazed earthenware jugs.

Unlike Dimaculangan, Gabriel “Gabz” Mendiola prefers muted colors when he paints. A former ceramic artist and businessman, he returned to his first love, painting. Mendiola has since joined a number of group shows organized by the San Mateo Artists Guild where he got to meet art patrons and supporters.

His paintings share a distinct provincial vibe and often feature female protagonists: women washing clothes in a stream, and a couple of Madonna and Child paintings. Mendiola is open to experimenting as seen in the mother and child pieces where one pair is painted in a two-dimensional style while a second is more realistic and

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Being the first to step on uncharted territory is never easy, but one can create history with the endeavour. MGM x RR1 Culinary Masters Macau was a highly anticipated affair, and the multi-day event exceeded expectations thanks to a star-studded line-up of chefs, fabulous guests, and a diverse event programme.

New people, different backgrounds, and site unseen—the first night of Culinary Masters had all the semblances of a first date. A welcome reception to break the ice was the need of the hour as guests, chefs, and their entourages arrived at MGM COTAI for a cocktail reception and gourmet buffet.

Stellar libations and finger foods eased everyone into introductions and conversation—there was much to talk about as the guests looked forward to multiple days of culinary, artistic, and cultural activities. Many quickly forged friendships, courtesy of champagne diplomacy.

Over the course of Culinary Masters, the days began with the ease and natural elegance of tai chi master Li Fai, the four-time wushu world champion, who directed early risers with a body- and soul-awakening session by the pool.

A fiery culinary exercise took place in the kitchens of one-Michelin-starred Five Foot Road as Yang Dengquan led classes on how to make gourmet Sichuan chilli sauce, enlightening keen home cooks on the flavour profiles of heat and spice.

In another floor and corner of MGM COTAI, Shane Osborn of Arcane led the first of many classes in the open kitchen of Grill 58. Vegetarian cappelletti was made from scratch, pasta was artfully plated, and the participants ate their creations heartily with glasses of champagne to round it up.

Many things stood out in memory, among them Osborn helming a cooking class with some of the children of the attending guests—each little one provided with a mini apron with “Culinary Master” embedded into

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Victorine: The Artist’s Model unravels a woman’s internal thoughts as she moves from Dublin to Paris, driven by a desire to explore and escape. Acted by Jasmin Gleeson and written by Joshua King, it is a delightful performance. This one-woman show paints a vivid portrait of Victorine, a witty, dry and inquisitive persona who captives the audience with her eloquent language and sharp observations. 

The piece plays with different gazes and perceptions – those of the artist, the critic, and the male spectator. Seamlessly interwoven, these perspectives highlight the fallibility of different viewpoints of art and its processes of creation. In fifty minutes, Gleeson masterfully dissects notions of artistic representation, whilst simultaneously critiquing the critics; this is all orchestrated in a refreshingly unpretentious and comedic fashion.

By using simple and effective props, Victorine is transformed, allowing her to switch between various characters. The paintbrush and glass of wine become conduits for the diverse personas she embodies. The portrayal infuses depth through the nuanced mannerisms and vocal inflections found in each of the characters. One of Victorine‘s strongest elements is its scripting, playing with colours and moods to create an atmosphere of intrigue, and enabling the audience to visualize the world through Victorine’s own gaze, adding a subtle layer to the narrative. 

Throughout the piece, Victorine has a mischievous sparkle which adds humour to a period of history that is often portrayed as a dark era. Her transformation from an ‘ordinary subject’ of art to wielding the paintbrush herself portrays a journey of self-discovery and empowerment. Overall, this is a show which beckons the audience to peer beyond the canvas, igniting a passion for art without taking oneself too seriously, all while embracing a multifaceted perspective on existence.


Victorine: The Artist’s Model, Greenside @ Riddles Court (Willow Studio), until

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Pharrell inspired by a recording studio in his clothes design space
Pharrell Williams (Photo credit: Bang Media)

Pharrell Williams has a recording studio in his clothes design hub to keep him inspired.

The 50-year-old rapper debuted his first collection for Louis Vuitton in June after being appointed the brand’s creative director of menswear, by turning Paris’ oldest bridge, the Pont Neuf, into a catwalk during this year’s Paris Fashion Week.

He told The New York Times Style Magazine about how he constantly flits between his music and clothes design: “Being a producer and a creative director are similar. I can go from apparel to drums, from trunks to melodies. Within my design studio, I have a section allocated to music, so I go back and forth all day.”

He added about his Louis Vuitton appointment: “It’s like I’m a perpetual student. If I’m the king of anything, it’s the king of being a pupil… being surrounded by so many talented people is the best. I mean, I’m an Aries, so I’ve always been super impulsive. But without the resources and the people, I’d be just like every other person with a great idea.”

He said about where he draws his inspiration from for designs and music: “Japan is my favorite place. On my 50th orbit, I had a birthday party organized by Nigo [the Tokyo-based artistic director of Kenzo and hip-hop producer]. One of the most amazing gifts is his presence in my life. Twenty years ago, I needed to go to Japan to record something, so Nigo arranged for me to come to his studio, which is basically a compound on five floors of a building. One floor is a showroom, one is a photo studio, another is a recording studio, and I was like, ‘Wow, this guy lives what’s in his head.’ That changed me. I was so used

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Kim Jones, one of the brightest names in menswear today, has teamed up with cognac giant Hennessy for a collaboration that fuses fashion and luxury, resulting in a stylish take on spirits. This collaboration between Hennessy X.O and Dior’s artistic director has yielded a limited-edition aluminium gold bottle holder, a decanter that features beautiful degrade detailing—mirroring past collections by the English designer—and a chic pair of brown-toned sneakers.

Here in Malaysia, Hennessy X.O has similarly selected a series of personalities who portray the same streak of style and fashion nous. In entrepreneur Huan Ooi, the look that he goes for is best described as that of an iconoclast, to always aim for uniqueness rather than being a slave to trends. “I see style inspiration wherever I go, in everyday, ordinary life,” he says, pointing out that he recently observed how the uniforms of Japanese ramen chef are quite unique and adds a genuine point of difference in one’s ensemble.

For Ooi, the Kim Jones-designed limited-edition aluminium gold Hennessy X.O holder may be appreciated like a an elegant silk dress, holding mysteries within the ensconced bottle of cognac. The appreciation of a glass of Hennessy X.O entails drinking with company, he shares. “I’m exceptionally uncomfortable being by myself, plus good things should be shared!” Here, Ooi reflects on the gamut of his formative experiences, his preferences and how he discerns his idea of happiness.

Personal dressing rituals and preferences
I don’t like exaggeration or embellishment in my wardrobe. I prefer clothes that are versatile, singular and definitely nothing boring. The look and way of dressing I portray today is something I’ve cultivated since my high school days. It was really an attempt to stand out from the crowd.

Best style advice
Definitely Juno Mak (Hong Kong singer, producer, actor and

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Growing up in the Midwest, Helen Jean knew of Geoffrey Beene as the name on the designer-licensed shirts and neckties her father purchased at the mall.

It was only after she began her education in fashion that she came to see and understand the creativity and artistry of the revered American designer.

In her role as the Jacquie Dorrance Curator for Fashion Design at Phoenix Art Museum, she is the public face of the institution’s current exhibition “MOVE: The Modern Cut of Geoffrey Beene,” which is on display through July 23.

The show can be seen in three rooms on the second floor of the museum. In the large Harnett Gallery, mannequins posed as ballerinas dance in breathtaking evening gowns, watched by dress forms bearing sporty jumpsuits, chic officewear, and a gaggle of cheerful, polka-dotted garments. In the next gallery, a collection of inventive evening gowns faces a rainbow of coats and bolero jackets. In the final room, objects on loan from the Geoffrey Beene archives share space with one very special dress, a sequin-and-ostrich-feather minidress from the 1960s that was one of the first pieces in Phoenix Art Museum’s fashion collection.

Most of the items in “MOVE” come from the wardrobe of New York City philanthropist and publisher Patsy Tarr, a longtime client of Beene’s before his death in 2004.

As Jean explains, Ellen Katz, a major donor and supporter of the museum, who hails from New York, convinced her friend Tarr to donate the bulk of her Beene garments to Phoenix Art Museum in 2019. (Tarr had already loaned the museum a number of items for a 2009 exhibition titled “Geoffrey Beene: Trapeze.”)

“We’re very, very fortunate that she chose our museum,” Jean says. “Of course, it was very intentional on her part, sharing this story and these

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