From Erdem’s nod at Victorian-era gender benders to drag queen Sasha Velour taking over the SS19 Opening Ceremony, queer fashion has hit the mainstream. At the same time, LGBTQ designers and consumers struggle to bridge the gap that currently exists in the queer fashion market.
Opening Ceremony SS19
There was an extravagant show of LGBTQ+ performers opening up the fashion season at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York. Sasha Velour, who won RuPaul’s Drag Race in series nine, hosted the event. An array of LGBTQ performers put on an elaborate show to kick off the night.
Luminaries such as Whoopi Goldberg, Nicki Minaj and Baz Luhrmann watched as Velour paraded onstage in a ginormous headpiece and 11-inch heels. The show left people talking for days about the performance–oh, and the new clothes too.
The Timing Was Right
Although the fashion and LGBTQ worlds have always been intertwined, this show put queer folk in the limelight behind the stage as well. The night was conceived and executed by a drag performer from the ground up. And it was an opportunity for queer culture to experience unprecedented representation.
Clothing lets individuals explore their identity, but it can also be restrictive in a gender-divided world with strict rules. For those who have been marginalized, the openness of high fashion is an opportunity to celebrate individuality and self-defined sexuality.
Attendees witnessed another example of the rising eminence of queer culture at the Met exhibition entitled “Camp: Notes on Fashion.” This show gives a nod to a famous essay by Susan Sontag, who wrote on gay ideals in 1964. Camp’s roots are planted deep in gay culture, and Sontag’s inspiration is evident in the subversion and high-drama of the Met exhibition. Influences can be traced to Mae West, Swan Lake, manly actor Victor Mature and General Charles de Gaulle with a bit of Flash Gordon and Art Nouveau thrown in.
Now A Whole Brand Caters to Queer Fashion
Top brand Daddy Couture has won over much of the gay community with its “Extra” shirts, hoodies, underwear and other fashion items. Daddy Couture strives to celebrate the LGBTQ community and provides clothes and accessories that exude a confident, unapologetic stance on lifestyle choices and sexual orientation.
More events and brands are needed to meet the needs of a demographic that has lived and dressed on the fringe for far too long already. However, it looks like 2019 is already working up to be a banner year for recognition and fashion for this group.