Fashion’s relationship to the body is that of interactive wearing—clothing is oriented to the human form not unlike the gestures that emerge through play where toys are moulds for life. Toys, like fashion, can orient or disorient the bodies for which it is or is not designed for in levels of gendering and access. The queering of dress objects and play objects is intrinsic to both their evolutions, toys being religious idols reoriented through roleplay and garments being queered through innovation.
Although both objects serve historically dissimilar purposes, they both present the opportunity of queer embodiment through means of reorienting to the body. Toys allow for a projected performance of queerness to an external object by way of play, and garments allow for queer performance through expression in adornment. Exemplified by how dolls furnish gender play in childhood.
“Toys” is thesis project investigating how dress as a form of play augments the queer experience, specifically how the material and spatial nature of these objects may construct or define our bodies. The result of this project is an art-to-wear collection of playable, wearable toys.
Through developing this capstone project, I was able to engage in my own form of play. Just as I construct my thoughts from recontextualising academic objects, I constructed, or rather understood, my queerness through play objects in my childhood. These toys arrived as queer objects by time and by my reorienting them as new objects of relevance. I hope these initial garments designed through this capstone can inspire new transformations of your dress. And if any of my work thus far does endear you, I deeply appreciate it. As this is not the end of my thesis, rather a new beginning, I encourage you to stay in touch with me as this project develops. Thank you for taking your care and time to view this project.
I would also like to further acknowledge and thank Tanya White, Jonathon Anderson, and Sadberk Agma for your deep support in resourcing and materialising this project. Against such odds, thank you for making this year so positive and so possible.
& have fun.