Knize Two, 1978

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(image OkayAfrica)

Perfumer unknown

Attire has been the greatest prop in the theater of gender. Men dress in one manner; women, another. Current standards tend to emphasize a hyper-gendered presentation through dress and grooming. Women in the self-confinement of higher heels than ever. Men packaged in increasingly conservative, less adorned trousers-shirt-jacket combinations. And it’s all so coded. Every detail is meant to convey a particular, trivial meaning.

Knize Two comes from an era that favored individuality over clonish-ness and group-style. (Christ, I miss the 70s.) It is also produced by a bespoke fashion firm that has its roots in an era and an esthetic that, while it catered to a masculine tradition, emphasized beauty.

Knize Two doesn’t simply happen to be fetching, it plays up the exact features that we define as pretty. It is a sharp floral with an expressive wake. Is noticeable and it speaks of intention. It doesn’t call attention to itself in dandyish fougère,  manner. Knize Two makes you think the wearer thought,  “I stopped and took a moment. And then I put on a lovely perfume.”

At last, an exception to the rule that a masculine floral is doomed to failure.

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