Fashion & function: challenging gender through footwear design
thesisposted on 24.05.2021, 07:11 by Zent Keymole
This major research project challenges the concept of functionality as a masculine prerogative and its naturalized association to men’s fashion, within a North American context. I used Queer theory and concepts of gender performativity as a theoretical framework to support the exploration of the relationship between masculinity and function, and femininity and fashion. The research employs practice-led methodologies that bridge the gap between theory and practice by reflecting the process of theorizing fashion and seeing the result of its production in the real world. The project produced eight original footwear designs, four of which were fabricated using leather, rubber and plastics. I developed the footwear with the goal of creating accessibility and understandability to afford “wearability”. The overarching purpose of this study was to develop footwear that cannot be classified according to normative gender identity formulations, and that makes consumers reflect on the significance of gender in fashion.