Harry Styles claps back at Candace Owen for dubbing his dress-wearing 'an attack on manly men'

Harry Styles has clapped back at conservative commentator Candace Owens, who took issue with his appearance on the cover of Vogue in a designer dress.  

Last month, Owens tweeted that the 'Watermelon Sugar' hitmaker's history-making appearance as the first solo man on the cover of the fashion magazine was "an outright attack," insisting that society should "bring back manly men" in order to prosper. 

"In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence," she wrote. 

Styles stayed quiet at the time, but on Thursday (NZ time) uploaded a new snap from his interview with Variety, in which he is shown eating a banana while wearing a pastel blue fitted suit and a pleated chiffon blouse. 

The former One Direction star used Owens' words: "Bring back manly men" as the caption. 

Meanwhile, Owens, a pro-Trump conservative who has been vocally against abortion, Muslim immigration, the #MeToo movement and the Black Lives Matter movement, appeared to welcome the publicity Styles' post brought.

"When people try to tell me I don’t have influence, and then Harry Styles dedicates an entire post to my tweet," she tweeted.  

"I inspire global conversation. #BringBackManlyMen. Shots fired." 

In a second tweet, Owens shared a snap of Styles on the set of the World War II film Dunkirk, showing him in a soldier's uniform covered in mud. Owens used her own hashtag #BBMM (Bring Back Manly Men) in the caption. 

Styles also addressed the controversy in his recent Variety feature, insisting: "To not wear [something] because it’s females’ clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes."  

"I think what’s exciting about right now is you can wear what you like," he added.  

"It doesn't have to be X or Y. Those lines are becoming more and more blurred."