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Fashion Design Alumni Construct Nonbinary Collections

Sappho Finnegan, Nope, Not 4 You, Photograph by Grace DuVal & Julian Spring

Liberation and inclusion were the prominent themes of SAIC's 2017 Fashion Show, as many students sought to channel the sociopolitcal atmosphere in their creative practices. Three of the School's recent alumni were spotlighted in Out magazine for their debut collections, which challenge the binary assertion of clothing made with specific genders in mind.

Natalie Castro (BFA 2017) was praised for No Worries, No Rules. Featuring loud color palettes and bulbous shapes inspired by toys and activewear, the collection captures the childlike innocence of wearing clothes while being oblivious to their function or intent.

Oscar Chen (BFA 2017), a native of Shanghai, explores the points where Western culture clashes (and aligns) with Communist ideology with his collection, No Homo. Social confrontation expresses itself physically, as queer, theatrical costume designs are married with classical menswear.

Sappho Finnegan's (BFA 2017) collection features masks accompanying silhouettes that obfuscate the wearer's bodies—making gender identity anonymous. The characters created by Nope, Not 4 You aim for a society completely free of social constructs; with the telltale signs of sexual identity removed, all that remains is the self.

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