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This Gen Z Designer Is Making a Case for Genderless Fashion Pieces and We’re Here for It

21-year-old Ellis Co is lobbying for a non-conforming runway style.
This Gen Z Designer Is Making a Case for Genderless Fashion Pieces and We’re Here for It
IMAGE ARCHIVES by Ellis Co
21-year-old Ellis Co is lobbying for a non-conforming runway style.

One can’t deny that fashion has been increasingly shifting towards a more gender-fluid direction in the past years. From luxury fashion houses to independent labels, more and more brands are pushing forward with the deconstruction of the existing binary of masculine and feminine expression, and we’re all here for it!

A-list celebrities are no exception, with the likes of Brad Pitt, Harry Styles, and even our very own Jericho Rosales showing up in scene-stealing skirts and dresses that are anything but yawnsome to the internet.

With that said, it comes as no surprise that the new generation of designers are not shying away from creativity in the service of pushing for more inclusivity. Case in point: 21-year-old Ellis Co, who recently gathered Manila’s stylish crop for the launch of his fashion brand ARCHIVES, spotlighting androgynous pieces at the forefront of his fall 2022 collection called Memoirs of the Future.

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His creations are certainly fashion-forward, with the young designer taking inspiration from a balanced mix of eco-brutalism, modernism, and Japanese fashion aesthetic. Even if his work has deep roots, he’s not aiming to replicate the past. “When I design, I’m very focused on the silhouette, how the shape looks, how the piece drops on the body, especially, the minor details,” Ellis tells Preview. “Basically, I’m trying to make something that hasn’t been done yet but is still familiar. I try to find the familiarity in the unfamiliar.” 

PHOTO BY ARCHIVES by Ellis Co
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Ellis’ collection featured a total of 44 looks. Signature pieces on the line include oversized outwear with obi lapels and curved cut lapels, a white garb with a dramatic flounced hat, as well as a couple of classic pairings in muted neutral and gray hues. At one point, he also incorporated boxing gloves and head gears, which are total signifiers of his penchant for boxing, one out of his several interests aside from fashion design.

PHOTO BY ARCHIVES by Ellis Co
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PHOTO BY ARCHIVES by Ellis Co
PHOTO BY ARCHIVES by Ellis Co
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From the clothes to the models’ makeup, Ellis made sure to make everything cohesive and gender-neutral, which is why he enlisted the help of makeup artist Gerry Penaso and former Preview beauty editor Nicole Arcano for the runway’s avant-garde beauty looks. Much like future humans out of hibernation pods, the female and male models sported an elevated bedhead look—burgundy eyes, bleached brows, and raw and unpolished hair with metallic tipped nails completing the whole vibe. 

“There are standards for quality, but when it comes to creativity, fashion is a medium. Whatever you create through fabric, that’s your own original design. It is just like music and painting, but your tool is the fabric. Fashion is an art form,” Ellis concluded.

To stay updated about Memoirs of the Future, visit Archives’ official Instagram page.

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