One interesting theme during the Fashion: Now & Then: Fashion as Art Conference this year was the questioning of how gender and fashion worked together to impart gender roles on society. In looking at the rigid fashion guidelines that are set forth by gender roles, this year’s presenters also introduced various counterculture movements that challenged such validity and became powerful movements in their own right. Patti Jordan, visual merchandising professor at LIM College and well-known artist herself, presented on subcultures prevalent in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Some of these including The Cockettes, a raunchy gender-fluid performance group that challenged both identity and sexual roles, as well as the Club Kids that originated New York’s iconic nightlife scene with characters such as Michael Alig and Richie Rich showing up in crazy looks to promote nightlife. In addition to films such as Liquid Sky that were also prevalent during these decades, Jordan argues that the 70’s and 80’s were a great time for gender exploration.
Above: Picture of The Cockettes performance artists
The Adrian G. Marcuse Library has books that further explore this idea and might be some interesting reads that challenge your ideas on what gender looks like in relation to fashion. Some of these books include:
(Call Number: 391 NEG)
(Call Number: 391 CRA)
Other presenters at the Fashion Now and Then: Fashion as Art Conference suggested that moving forward, we expect to see more gender neutral clothing popping up at retailers that we frequently shop. How would you feel about this? Let us know!
Posted on November 02, 2016 I Blog post by Thomas Goonan (student worker of the LIM College Library)