Crossing Gender Boundaries (Book)

Fashion to Create, Disrupt and Transcend

Edited by Andrew Reilly and Ben Barry

This volume presents a collection of the most recent knowledge on the relationship between gender and fashion in historical and contemporary contexts. Through fourteen essays divided into three segments – how dress creates, disrupts and transcends gender – the chapters investigate gender issues through the lens of fashion.

Edition

This volume presents a collection of the most recent knowledge on the relationship between gender and fashion in historical and contemporary contexts. Through fourteen essays divided into three segments – how dress creates, disrupts and transcends gender – the chapters investigate gender issues through the lens of fashion. Crossing Gender Boundaries first examines how clothing has been, and continues to be, used to create and maintain the binary gender division that has come to permeate Western and westernized cultures. Next, it explores how dress can be used to contest and subvert binary gender expectations, before a final section that considers the meaning of gender and how dress can transcend it, focusing on unisex and genderless clothing.

The essays consider how fashion can both constrict and free gender expression, explore the ways dress and gender are products of one other and illuminate the construction of gender through social norms. Readers will find that through analysis of the relationship between gender and fashion, they gain a better understanding of the world around them.

Andrew Reilly is professor at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where he teaches courses related to behavioural aspects of fashion and dress. His research and books examine the intersections of gender and sexuality and post-postmodernism in dress. He is founder and editor of the journal Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion, also published by Intellect.

Ben Barry is associate professor of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the School of Fashion and Director of the Centre for Fashion Diversity & Social Change at Ryseron University. His research explores gender inequalities and transformations through dress, with a focus on the men and masculinities at the intersections of queer, disabled and fat embodiments.

Introduction

Section 1:  Creating Gender

  1. ‘Bifurcated Garments and Divided Skirts:  Redrawing the Boundaries of the Sartorial Feminine in Late Victorian Culture,’ Kimberly Wahl
  2.  ‘ “Hard and Straight”:  The Creation of Nineteenth Century Masculine Subjectivity through Corsetry’ Alanna McKnight 
  3.  ‘Mirror Epiphany:  Transpersons’ Use of Dress to Create and Sustain Their Affirmed Gender Identities,’ Jory M. Catalpa and Jenifer K. McGuire
  4.  ‘Withering Heights:  High Heels and Hegemonic Masculinity,’ Elizabeth Semmelhack

Section 2:  Disrupting Gender

  1. ‘Cute Men in Contemporary Japan,’ Toby Slade
  2. ‘The Politicisation of Fashion in Virtual Queer Spaces: A Case Study of Saint Harridan one of the Pioneering Queer-Fashion Brands in the Twenty-First Century,’ Kelly Reddy-Best
  3. ‘She Was Not A Girly Girl: Athletic Apparel, Female Masculinity, and the Endorsement of Difference,’ Christina Bush
  4. ‘Gender More: Men’s Construction of the Gendered Body through Dress in the Post-postmodern Context.,’ Ben Barry and Andrew Reilly
  5. ‘In-vest-ed Meaning:  Gender Ambiguity in Costume Collections ,’ Katie Baker Jones and Jean L. Parsons

Section 3:  Transcending Gender

  1. ‘The Politics of the Neutral: Rad Hourani’s Unisex Couture Collections,’ Rebecca Halliday
  2. ‘Shirting Identities: Negotiating Gender Identity through the Dress Shirt,’ Valerie Rangel
  3. ‘Why Don’t I Wear Skirts?  Understanding Dress Behaviour through Historical Contexts,’ Jung Ha-Brookshire
  4. ‘Critical Mascara: On Fabulousness, Creativity and the End of Gender,’ Madison Moore
  5. ‘Clothes (Un)make the (Wo)man: Un-gendering Fashion,’ Hazel Clark and Leena-Maija Rossi
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