We spent yesterday thinking seriously about the role of gender in Shaking the Habitual, the fantastic new album by The Knife. Today, we thought we’d revisit the same topic in a rather more lighthearted way: by looking at some of music’s more memorable gender-defying fashion statements over the years. Androgyny and ambiguity have long been part of popular music, after all, and they’ve been responsible for some of its most memorable imagery. From The Knife to Grace Jones and a certain remarkable German countertenor, here are some of the best.
As we discussed yesterday, questioning conventional notions of genre has always been an idea that’s been central to The Knife’s work. This has manifested itself just as much in the way the band members present themselves to the world as it has in their work — take the above press shot, for instance, where their identical masks and clothing make it very much open to question who’s the man and who’s the woman.