Parsons

Student Work

  • Fashion Studies (MA)

    Alani Gaunt

    Queering the Mainstream: Dandyism, Queer Identity, and Menswear for Women

    Contemporary fashion is making minority genders and sexualities more visible than ever at the same time that society itself is developing a more nuanced understanding of these complex identities and definitions. The industry is navigating and responding to a cultural landscape that is challenging long-held assumptions. While the queer male identity has long been associated with fashion, queer women have been largely ignored by the industry. Feminine fashion has a long history of so-called "borrowing from the boys." But these cross-binary appropriations are usually re-coded as traditionally feminine - the high-heel shoe being an early and prominent example. This thesis aims to assess and understand fashion's impact on queer women's communities, identities, in-group identification, and accessibility. Using analysis of contemporary brand marketing that targets non-traditional gender identities, I address larger questions of queer identity, visibility, and accessibility in the mainstream fashion market.
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