Clothes that challenge the normative boundaries of gender
BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS
The Gender Benders is a brand new gender fluid sustainable fashion collection created by the label Viktoria Zuziak. It comes as an exploration of femininity that embraces it as a fluid means of expression and identification for everyone.
Appearance alone doesn’t create the gender system, but it can reinforce its binary structure.
These items of clothing are accessible to a more diverse group of bodies than other brands and have the capability to be enjoyed for more than what traditional clothing allows.
The brand is a London based social enterprise with each purchase including a donation to Mermaids, a charity that supports trans and gender diverse children.
Viktoria, the founder of the brand, said: “The lack of practicality found in womenswear, exemplified by mock or absent pockets, acts as a physical reminder of the normative borders of femininity.”
Instead, this collection is an exploration of femininity that aims to challenge its normative borders alongside it’s enforced attachment to sex and sexuality.
Viktoria’s own personal experience comes from swimming competitively during their formative years and a love for water heavily influenced the design process. “The unruliness and calmness of water in addition to its other qualities such as translucency, fluidity, power and ability to distort imagery, made it a key source of inspiration.”
The main body of research consisted of experiments using professional swimwear as a means of shaping the silhouette of tailored garments. These drapes were then places in a pool so that the rules that apply to the behaviour of fabric on land were not applicable.
Importantly, this work does not reject femininity, instead it plays with it, approaches it from different angles and questions its restrictive and exclusionary “truths”. The Gender Benders collection aims at loosening up the rigidity found in and around femininity and to embrace it as a fluid means of expression and identification for everyone.
You can check out the full collection and treat yourself to something right here!
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