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Gender Queer Fashion: Art School Blurs the Boundaries

Leave it to fashion to lead the way in new and exciting directions where gender-fluidity is concerned. Sure enough, where fashion leads, brands often follow, but how genuine is the high street’s intention to embrace new thought on gender identification, or is it a cynical attempt to cash in on what is seen as a new trend?

Enter Art School, a new brand that’s focusing on non-binary fashion. Reflecting the lives of the designers and their community, Eden Loweth (a menswear graduate) and Tom Barratt (an art criticism graduate) married their experience of the evolving trans body, and the communication of queer style within counter-culture in a collection that strives to bring the reality of how they see the world to the catwalk, via their debut at Lulu Kennedy’s emerging talent showcase: Fashion East.

Blurring the boundary between catwalk show and performance art, the show was directed by Theo Adams (himself a performance artist) and at the designers’ behest, he created a show with the theme of ‘rehearsal’ – the very antithesis of a polished ‘show’ in the accepted sense of the word and a space where anything is possible.

Inspired by the Ballet Russes and modernist design school, the Bauhaus, the garments celebrated ‘the queer form’ in all its manifestations. Bedecked with Swarovski crystals, the non-models sang and danced freely, reminding the audience (and the wider world) just why fashion creativity in London is so celebrated.

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Photography Lucie Rox