I don’t know how in the world I missed this, but the first ever Queer Fashion Week happened this past weekend in Oakland, California. And from the photos, videos, and articles about and from the event, it was spectacular!
An event like Queer Fashion Week is an incredibly powerful sign that the fashion world needs to and is beginning to adopt different ideas of what is fashionable and what fashion means to different people. It is also a sign that the fashion world is moving to feature more diverse bodies in the presentation of their work, be it in photo campaigns or strutting down the runway.
We first saw this move earlier this year during New York Fashion Week with Chromat’s runway show featuring gender non-conforming and plus-size models on the runway. And from the small but growing number of fashion shows tailored to queer people in the past few years, I think it’s pretty obvious that the queers are coming to take the fashion world by storm.
Huffington Post recently did a live segment about queer fashion and Queer Fashion Week with several queer designers and fashion writers currently in the business. I loved what Anita Dolce Vita, Editor-in-Chief of dapperQ, the GQ, as it is called, for gender non-conforming masculine people, had to say when asked to define “queer fashion”: “Queer fashion is systemically rooted in gender non-conformity and it is all about breaking gender binaries, and redefining femininity, masculinity, and everything in-between and outside of.”
As a femme person, I find it sometimes difficult to consider my style and presentation “queer” because even within the queer community “femme”-ness is still somewhat devalued. However, I agree with what Rain Dove, an agender model, said about what makes queer fashion queer. It has everything to do with the individual and how the individual defines themself and their clothing. So, “If you’re lesbian and you wear it, it’s queer (Rain Dove)”.
Queer Fashion Week’s goal was and is to create more awareness of queer fashion designers, as well as feature runway shows with more diverse bodies. The event was so successful that next year’s dates are already set! Check out some of the runway outfits from this year’s Queer Fashion Week below!
The Lady Ms. Vagina
All photos by Molly via Autostraddle