Mel: The models that we will be having in the show will be bodies that are not normally represented in mainstream fashion, as well as those that are. For this reason, we will be having drag, trans, disability, burlesque, kink, BDSM, as well as mainstream models. We are aiming to be fluid in our representations to allow people to question the normative nature of models in mainstream fashion and what this dominant discourse does to our gender roles, socialization practices, body image etc.
Garçonnière: What kind of set up will you guys have, and how did you decide on it? (traditional runway, standing models, chessboard or holograms a la McQueen).
G: What kind of music are you using in your show?
Alyssa: We're trying to combine feminist awareness but at the same time reach out to mainstream minds. So we've got high energy, loud, vibrant music, but at the same time, the lyrical content and message is feminist -friendly. The playlist works to be inclusive - we've got all types of genres and artists, from Nine Inch Nails to Rihanna to Le Tigre and different cultural music as well.
G: What do you want people to take away after having seen your fashion show?
Mel: Our main goal in the Feminist Fashion Show is try and get people to re-think their normative conceptions of mainstream fashion and the media. We want people to question what they think about fashion, push their boundaries about sexual expression, gender roles, queer beings, feminism and the fashion show style. We hope by doing this we will provide visibility of the feminist and queer community while educating about expressions outside the boundaries of heteronormativity.
G: What other sorts of events is WSUSC organizing?
Mel: In November of last year the WSUSC organized a symposium entitled "The F Word." The aim of this was to try and address why feminism has become a taboo within our generation and why many do not want to take up the label. The panelists that the event feminist theoretical lens to give the audience and diverse perspective on the different approaches and thought within feminist (i.e. fat feminism, feminism and the church etc). This is our last event of this year, but be prepared to see MANY more exciting and boundary pushing events starting in September of 2010.
G: Do you find being students inspires the kinds of events you organize? Or do you find that it shows you that there is a need for events like the feminist fashion show?
Mel: There are many political bodies and student run organizations within York University that allows for many forms of expression. However, what we noticed over the past couple of years is that there has not really been any radical grassroot feminist activism on the campus. Because of this, we decided to run the Women's Studies Undergraduate Student Club (WSUSC) to allow for this voice and to support and recognize the work that feminists do on campus. It has been through the lack of feminist and queer activism that inspired us as third wave, radical feminist's to create this event. It is through events like the fashion show that allows for "mainstream" students to question their dominant ideological lens. If we were to continue to just hold private events we would only be preaching to the converted. Visibility and voices are major keys to change the lens of North American thought.
Where can people find out more about your event (i.e online resources, in person, etc)
And last but not least, since you're being interviewed by a fashion blog, what are your favourite blogs or readings about feminist fashion?