On October 2, dapperQ, a style site for masculine presenting women and trans-identified individuals, collaborated with bkln boihood, Posture Magazine, and D.Y.D.H Productions to organize the Verge: Queer Fashion Presentation. The Institute of Contemporary Art hosted the event in Boston as a part of the museum’s First Friday series. The organizations previously joined forces for a similar event in New York City during New York Fashion Week. Online magazines and blogs, such as Huffington Post, Autostraddle, Refinery29, and more, featured the New York event in various articles.
Verge Boston differentiated itself by choosing the medium of a fashion presentation, rather than a traditional fashion show with models walking down a runway, to engage the audience with the designers’ clothes and models. Besides choosing a daring medium, the Verge: Queer Fashion Presentation also embraced queer fashion as a form of political activism. Anita Dolce Vita, the Editor-in-Chief at dapperQ, reinforced this narrative at the fashion presentation and in her op-ed for Advocate:
Queer style is systematically rooted in gender nonconformity and intrinsically tied to our identities… Queer style is a fashion revolution, one of the most stylish forms of our generation. Fashion has historically been political, particularly for marginalized groups.
In “Imitation and Gender Subordination,” gender and queer theorist Judith Butler describes how queer bodies are inherently political as political frameworks privilege heterosexuality as the norm while resisting the existence of queerness. We’ve witness the politicization of queer bodies this summer as the Supreme Court finally granted same-sex couples the right to benefit from the historically heterosexual institution of marriage. However, queer bodies are still threatened by more immediate issues, including homelessness, employment discrimination, and deportation. Fashion exists as a public form of communication which cannot be separated from one’s body. It is politicized since birth as our parents or caretakers use fashion to fulfill gendered, heterosexual roles into a feminine and masculine binary.
The designers at the Verge: Queer Fashion Presentation- Qwear, KQK, SunSun, Jag & Co., SAGA NYC, LACTIC, FONY, MARKANTOINE, and Sir New York– broke barriers of the fashion gender binary through their collections. Collections from Jag & Co. and Sir New York experimented with traditional heterosexual male clothing, i.e. vests, bomber jackets, suspenders, and snapbacks, for queer individuals. While MARKANTOINE and FONY produced a more unisex appearance with clothing that does not indicate one’s gender. The collections at the Verge: Queer Fashion Presentation made a political statement by celebrating the fluidity of the queer identity through fashion.