Antigender fashion : the boundless possibilities of gender-fluid fashion design : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, School of Design, Toi Rauwharangi College of Creative Arts, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University, New Zealand. EMBARGOED until 11 May 2026.

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Massey University
Listed in 2023 Dean's List of Exceptional Theses
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Gender fluidity plays an increasingly important role in today’s fashion industry and Western culture, calling into question the very boundaries of gendered fashion. This doctoral project focuses on the incorporation of non-binary fashion in contemporary fashion design. Expanding on what Vicki Karaminas and Justine Taylor termed antigender fashion, this study investigates how contemporary fashion design can challenge and critique norms of gender identities and their representation. Like anti-fashion, which opposes and challenges fashion, antigender fashion seeks to dismantle and confront binary gender signifiers. Fashion is then understood as more than a mirror of society; rather, it is a phenomenon that reflects, absorbs, and visualises broader social and cultural shifts. The focus is therefore on fashion as a system of signification, analysing contemporary fashion imagery and design via a critical visual and textual analysis. To illustrate the various ways in which antigender fashion can expand the gender binary, the thesis takes a multiple case-study approach, discussing the contemporary designers JW Anderson, Gucci under the direction of Alessandro Michele, Art School, and No Sesso, investigating the ways in which they challenge, blur, and critique traditional gender boundaries in the context of fashion and culture. This study seeks to highlight the relevance of fashion in constituting and renegotiating contemporary forms of masculinities and femininities.
Fashion design, Social aspects, Gender identity, Dean's List of Exceptional Theses