Forming bodies : interrogating transgressive dress practices : thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Fine Arts endorsed with Design at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
This research project consists of a written exegesis and a creative component that consists of a fashion collection and a conceptual short film that interrogates the formation of gendered identities in dress practices. The directive of this thesis is to push the boundaries of gender through transgressive dress practices. It will go beyond the debates regarding the validity of unisex and androgyny and will focus on gender as a construction and the way dress informs identity and sexuality. This body of work seeks to reflect on the shock value techniques used within the framework of high-fashion spectacles in catwalk collections and their ready-to-wear disseminations in order to explore the act of dressing as a form of performance and sexual expression. Drawing on the design oeuvre of Vivienne Westwood, Thom Browne, Walter Van Beirendonck, Hood By Air (HBA) and Comme des Garçons, this study draws attention to the politics of the body as a site of transformative dress practices.