2017 Valerie Grapek

This collection is meant to challenge the rejection of femininity in menswear garments. Our system of dress reflects a binary gender system, which is a product of our patriarchal society and reflects gender heirarchy. It is socially acceptable for women to dress/behave in a masculine manner (particularly in situations where the person needs to command authority), but not acceptable for men to dress/behave in a feminine manner. This collection also explores the role that the male gaze has played in fashion design, and attempts to invert it. It strongly references materiality in relation to the social construction of femininity and masculinity. Why do we perceive clothing as being either masculine or feminine, and how does the maker influence this perception? The way in which the wearer experiences menswear and womenswear are also different. Menswear has a more practical and utilitarian nature, and womenswear has a more ornamental nature. This collection explores creating a menswear line which combines classic elements of tailored suiting with feminine elements found only in womenswear. This creates a menswear collection which is both familiar, and at the same time gives the wearer an experience more similar to womenswear clothing.