A few years ago, I took up sewing with one purpose: to create costumes. I never expected to love it as much as I do, and I certainly didn't anticipate pursuing a career in the field of costume design; but here I am, several years later, a student at MassArt in my second and final year. Another thing I never expected was to realise is that I am nonbinary. Being nonbinary has given me a new perspective on all things, including, or perhaps especially, fashion. Now in my second year of formal education, I have begun to see the world through a fashion designer's eyes: Clothes are now garments, style lines are suddenly interesting, and color palettes tell a story. However, as a queer nonbinary mixed person of color, I also see fashion as a form of expressing gender and the challenges that come with that. Fashion should give us freedom to be ourselves, but the options are not as endless as they should be.
Over the last year, I've asked myself what it means to be nonbinary many times. What does it mean for me? What does it mean for others? How do we express this in our daily lives? And how do we create a form of expression that is limited by an androgynous mold that only suits a few? How do we create a form of expression that doesn't erase femininity? My main goal, with both Qwear and my future desire to open an online store, is to create a safe space for trans women and transfeminine folk to discuss, discover, and ultimately create clothing that suits their needs. While the questions I've asked myself for the past two years were sparked by my own personal experiences as someone designated female at birth (dfab), I present Femme Faetal and my future online store to trans women and trans feminine nonbinary folk specifically. I want this journey to cater to trans women and transfeminine folk because my safety in exploring fashion is not at stake and because the options are more readily available to me.
When I met Sonny, I explained my desire to start my own online store after I was done with school, which created this opportunity for me to join Qwear. My frustration over the limited image of androgyny, the lack of resources for trans women and trans feminine folk, the focus on white able-bodied nonbinary people--all these things have culminated in the creation of Femme Faetal.
My goal with Femme Faetal is layered. As someone who was designated female at birth, I feel there is a great risk of speaking over trans women and trans feminine folk with the series, something I have no desire to do; Femme Faetal, while it may be open to many topics, will focus mainly on issues in fashion that trans women and nonbinary trans feminine folk face. Thus, I want to act more as a facilitator, than anything. I want to spark a highly necessary conversation within the LGBT/MOGAI community, but eventually I would like to become a background editor in the Femme Faetale series, while trans women and transfeminine folk showcase themselves, their fashion, their words, and their experiences. I hope that with time, Femme Faetale can reach this goal with many contributors, whether one time regular, whether anonymous or not.