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‘Art School’ Makes Queer, Androgynous Clothing

The "Art School" designers go beyond gender.
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Androgynous fashion is in.

From Jaden Smith’s androgynous photoshoot to Zara’s new line of ungendered white t-shirts, mainstream designers are eager to make “edgy” and “progressive” designs that appeal to men, women and everyone else. But for these designers, it’s not about embracing gender fluidity and challenging society’s artificial construction of masculinity and femininity. No, it’s about selling more t-shirts.

The brand Art School hasn’t hopped onboard gender fluidity as a trend but as a way of creation. This brand specializes in non-binary fashion for queer people. Eden Loweth, the founder, says,

We’re not just trying to jump on a queer bandwagon. This is how we live and see the world.”

Art School debuted at Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East with a stunning performance that was half catwalk, half dance show.

The models, many of whom were transgender or genderqueer, wore custom Art School designs that “celebrate the queer form.” Models sang, danced and moved freely around the performance space.

Loweth and Art School co-founder Tom Barratt focused on making transgender and gender non-conforming people comfortable in the clothing and confident showcasing their bodies to the crowd. For example, Loweth customized a gown for one of the transgender models, Josephine, because he “knows how hard it is as a trans-identified person to go out in the world and put yourself on a stage like that.”

This line is by queer people for queer people. When designing, Loweth doesn’t think about whether a garment is made for a man or a woman, a girl or a boy. He just makes things that he thinks he would like to wear.

The driving force of the line is to (re)capture and liberate the idea of “gender” from the conservative public consciousness. When asked about the importance of deconstructing gender to Art School, Loweth told i-d, “Transformation and the evolving nature of the trans body are something very close to us – we both identify at different points of the gender spectrum and this inevitably holds influence in our work.” As the transgender body evolves, so does the fashion line.

To learn more about Art School and get your hands on the latest fashion, follow Eden Loweth on Instagram.

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Author
J. Marie graduated from Duke University with a degree in International Relations and dreams of being a creative writer--dreams she's now realizing as a musical theatre writer in NYC. She's passionate about global black identities, black representation in media, and leather-bound notebooks. She also loves backpacking through a new country at a moment's notice, and speaks Spanish, Swahili and Standard Arabic.

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