They’ve always been here, but they’re still queer, and that’s cool. The LGBT community has been on a steady uprise in awareness and equality for the past several years, with more efforts still to come. 2013/14 were big years for fashion, and specifically, the transgender community in that major contemporary fashion brands such as Marco Marco and Barneys have incorporated and starred transgender people and drag queens in their 2013/14 Spring/ Summer campaigns.
Marco Marco, the designer who threw a couple slabs of pastry on Katy Perry’s boobs, has brought the drag queen to the catwalk for his newest Spring/Summer campaign. The entirety of his show was modelled by males or transgender females. This is an enormous stepping stone because besides celebrating gender equality on the CATWALK, it speaks of transgender politics and that the sex of the body doesn’t necessary dictate the social category in which the body lives, which then contradicts all common belief of whether a person is male or female as determined by the sex of the body. (i) One of the featured catwalk models is Carmen Carrera, a past contestant of the beloved RuPaul’s Drag Race and a transgender model. Marco Marco’s campaign is a bold and significant representation of how society’s mentality of gender and sexuality is evolving to become a more informed, better understanding think-tank that can do naught but applaud the fashion set before it rather than question the gender of the models. (ii)
Likewise to Marco Marco, Barneys’ recent 2014 Spring/Summer campaign also casted transgender models, but the campaign’s effort dove more towards the heartfelt acknowledgement that each of its models is a person that had corrected themselves to wear their proper skin, which then in turn allows them to wear the proper societal clothing. The campaign – titled Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters and photographed by Bruce Weber – features 17 different transgender models of both sexes, and while they’re all wearing brand-name labels such as Comme Des Garçons and Stella McCartney, the campaign also released a 36-minute film and each model’s personal story about making their gender transitions. Not only that, but Barneys is donating 10% of the proceeds from their 11 flagship stores to the LGBT community! (iii)
Sexuality permeates societal beliefs, actions, and relations. (iiii) It is because of this sexuality, or rather the different genres of sex and gender, and the fashion and bodies that displays it that we as a the public are able to become better informed with different communities. These substantial break throughs in fashion are symbolic of the ever maturing world in which we live.
(i) Stryker, S 2008, Transgender History, viewed 17 September 2014, < http://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&lr=&id=kEfZ1knAguMC&oi=fnd&pg=PT5&dq=transgender+fashion&ots=Rq1aFhEAs_&sig=-nZbvscZxpvUW8OJcEgJTXDITGo#v=onepage&q=transgender%20fashion&f=false>
(ii) Goldstein, K 2014, Marco Marco and Carmen Carrera: Redefining the Role of Gender in Fashion, viewed 16 September 2014, <http://diverseworldfashion.com/2014/01/02/marco-marco-and-carmen-carrera-redefining-the-role-of-gender-in-fashion-2/>
(iii) Brothers, Sisters, Sons & Daughters: Introducing the Spring 2014 Campaign 2014, viewed 17 September 2014, <http://thewindow.barneys.com/brothers-sisters-sons-daughters/>
(iiii) Steele, V 2013, A Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet To the Catwalk, viewed 17 September 2014, <http://exhibitions.fitnyc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Essay-Preview-Steele.pdf>