David james bell

Grey Sheep

Location

Carlisle / United Kingdom

University

northumbria university

Graduation year

2020

This collection is a deconstruction of the relationship between masculinity and power. Examining how the construction of fragile masculinity effects those in power. Power is defined by ‘the capacity or ability to directly influence the behaviour of others or the course of events’ Power is protected by a facade of characteristics associated with masculinity whilst denying the characteristics associated with femininity. As gender norms are being blurred and the concept of ‘toxic masculinity’ is being questioned. A new market for fluidity is opening, this collection creates a new fluid silhouette that is neither deemed fully masculine or feminine. i have explored the influence of masculinity on the ‘Alpha Male’ and researched how the minority of ‘Alpha males’ control the majority. Exploring the consequences of this dynamic and how this effects different cultures from politics to human rights. Investigating the suppression of women and differing minorities due to the threat they pose on those in power.

The concept is underpinned by researching the social construction of gendered garments such as tailored suits, corsets, bridalwear and skirts. Investigating the correlation between these garments, gender and power through history. deconstructing these garments physically and contextually to build a new idea of what these garments can mean in contemporary menswear. Developing a collection of fluid formal suits that highlight my research. I have a wide but concentrated research base, researching the relationship between power and fashion from fetish wear and bondage to 1980’s power dressing. Investigating how these garments give or take away power from the wearer.

Using a mixture of fabrics from Silks, Duchess satin, Lace, Tulle Crepes, Boucle, Fil Coupe, Chiffon, Jersey and wools. The fabrics will be a combination of lightweight, fluid, soft and heavy fabrics. The juxtaposition of light and heavy symbolising the release of the burdens of toxic masculinity whilst celebrating femininity.

Aimed at a muse who dares to challenge the conventional norms of society and who wants to make a statement about the constructs of gender, power and the patriarchy. He is not afraid of embracing the differences of minorities and exploring his identity while stimulating the minds of others by breaking fashion boundaries.
I intend to expose the fragility of masculinity through fashion by dismantling traditional menswear and injecting everything which it denies. The collection aims to create a new image of the powerful man, expressing true influence by embracing being emasculated by fashion.

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