Queer Fashion Statements

By: Banzi Mehlo

Queer culture is know for their unique fashion sense. From androgynous fashion, drag fashion to Bondage Discipline Sadism and Masochism (BDSM).

The first time I heard about androgynous fashion, besides not being able to pronounce it, I didn’t know the background of this ground-breaking trend. This trend started around the early 1900s, when Chanel made pants for women, which was the beginning of the of the showcasing of women’s masculine side through their style.  Kristen Steward, Ruby Rose, Troy Sivan and Ezra Miller (you know, the one who carried around a copy of his head during the 2019 Met) , are some celebrities who are know for their androgynous looks on the red carpet. I love how this type of fashion is gender bending and challenging the norm. 

Ezra Miller Met Gala

Another queer look I was happy to see on the red carpet was drag fashion. For over 100 years, drag was know for being the performance of masculinity, femininity and other gender expressions. Drag is more than just “dressing up”, it is a form of expression of living your best feminine or masculine side. Drag queens owned the industry, thanks to Rupaul’s Drag Race franchise, introducing the most extravagant garments on the red carpet. The only event that is a heavily drag-inspired event of the year, has to be the Met Gala. When it comes to the Met, I know everyone is going to bring their best because that’s where you get to go big or go home. Billy Porter with that all-gold ensemble, Janelle Monae with her playful unconventional garment with a blinking eye and not forgetting my favourite moment of 2019, Lady Gaga with her campy dress, which was accompanied by four outfit changes. Gaga is the queen of camp and I’ll be expecting the girls to deliver for the next Met, she has raised the bar and we want fireworks.

A very risque trend made popular by the community, BDSM, was not formally a fashion trend, however, its accessories made quite a wave in pop culture. These include latex and leather items, corsets, body harness and gutters. The fetish fashion is the most controversial trend I have known, but its edginess is why most celebrities are rooting for it. The likes of Madonna and Miley Cyrus are the reason I fell in love with this. The Kardashian-Jenner clan made the latex dresses popular amongst Hollywood, I mean when have they not stepped up to being trendsetters.

I honestly love seeing how different aspects of queer fashion are recognized in mainstream fashion. In this industry, being yourself is the most important thing and queer fashion is all about individuals expressing their personalities through fashion, in their own perspective. Unfortunately, we can’t go enjoy ourselves at Pride this year because of, you know what. That doesn’t mean we can’t turn up, celebrate with your mates indoors, pop bottles, jam to some of your favourite songs and celebrate queerness throughout.

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