Qwear's "Femme Desire" show at dapperQ iD, ICA Boston

On Friday October 7th, Rupi and I were honored to be invited for the second year in a row to partake in dapperQ's iD fashion show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

For our portion, Femme Desire, we invited models to guide our fashion designer Rupi in creating unique pieces that are tailored to their personal style and expression. 

FEMME DESIRE ARTIST STATEMENT

Femme Desire is a site-specific fashion installation that exposes the limits within which fashion designers and society put on the expression of femininity. A constantly evolving performance, Femme Desire was created by Qwear’s Fashion Director, Rupi and Qwear’s Founder, Sonny Oram. The models/performers are invited to guide Rupi, as the fashion designer, in creating unique pieces that are a departure from their usual expression of femme fashion.

Under the guise of queer fashion, femmes are restricted to certain forms of expression for fear of safety, acceptance, and the exercise of basic rights to freedom. Femme Desire dismantles all preconceived notions of gender identity, sexual orientation, and sex assigned at birth. The performance intends to raise questions about identity that, throughout this night, questioners come to realize don’t deserve or even warrant an answer.

Femme Desire emerges out of Rupi’s 2015 collection Dismantle Me, which explores the relationship between the fashion designer, the model, and the queer aesthetic with patterns evoking historical class and rebellion, gender, and sexuality. Femme Desire presents a radical, model-driven approach to the method of creating and showcasing fashion collections. This work provides the whole experience of the fashion designer’s creative method associated with curating a collection — being careful never to lapse into the tradition designer dominant role and audience pleasing impulses.

Femme Desire examines the physicality of femme fashion — separate from the source of its meaning — in a dual transformation ritual. This work explores the expression, stereotypes, drama, and aesthetics of femme fashion, allowing the audience to experience qualities of feminine expression that are often unnoticed. Here the visible feminine aesthetic becomes a site for investigating the invisible feminine expressions and the potential relationships among those who fall outside the iconic femme fashion and fashion designers.

REFLECTIONS:

I had an incredible time working with our expressive models, Rupi, and the hair and makeup artists with MLR Artist Management blew me away. Their friendly demeanors and commitment to their art just made the night a total pleasure. They spent hours on each of our models to make sure they were in love with how they looked! 

Sending a huge thanks to dapperQ and the ICA for taking a chance on our new performance piece and allowing us to be part of a very special evening!

From left, Sarah Rose, Lia, Gia

From left, Sarah Rose, Lia, Gia

From left, Rupi, Tyler Roze, Sarah Rose, Lia, Sonny Oram, Richie Williams-Freeman, Gia

From left, Rupi, Tyler Roze, Sarah Rose, Lia, Sonny Oram, Richie Williams-Freeman, Gia

Our show was only the first floor of dapperQ's evening. They presented two screenings of Suited, an HBO documentary produced by Lena Dunham about Bindle & Keep. After each screening, The Tailory New York showcased looks from their latest collection, featuring bloggers Sara Geffrard of A Dapper Chick and Danielle Cooper of She's A Gent, followed by a short discussion about the power of gender-nonconforming style. 

DJ beats provided by the incredible Leah McFlight, who we couldn't be more grateful for.

We captured some beautiful images from the upstairs show and the audience!

Credits:

MODELS:
Gia
Sarah Rose
Tyler Roze
Richie Williams-Freeman
Lia

MUSIC:
DJ Leah

SPACE:
Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

PRODUCER:
Sonny Oram, Qwear

DESIGNER & DIRECTOR:
Rupi

HAIR & MAKE UP:
MLR Artist Management
Sparklle T., Make up
Peter V., Make up
Alicia D., Hair & Make up
Amil, Hair & Make up 

PHOTOGRAPHY:
Jaypix

As Qwear's Founding Editor, Sonny’s work centers around envisioning a future in which the clothing people wear does not dictate their chances of survival. Sonny was awarded 2015 dapperQ of the Year and was the first trans blogger to be sponsored by Topman. In March 2016, Sonny spoke at South by South West's first official queer fashion panel.