solo work / March 2022
4XL men’s dress shirt / screen print
models: Henri Hokura, Brittany Min
Exploring themes of fatherhood, boyhood, and the resistance to patriarchy, I designed and created an oversized men's shirt, finished with a screen-printed graphic of my childhood drawing. The usage of an oversized garment as the visual language was informed heavily from Maison Margiela’s Spring 2000 ready-to-wear collection. For said collection, the house utilized oversized silhouettes to resist and propose a solution to the fashion industry’s systemic problem of making clothes that, often don’t fit the bodies meant to wear them. The project culminated in a photoshoot, taking aesthetic inspiration from the casting in Yohji Yamamoto’s, Y’s & Y’s for Men Fall/Winter 1993- 94 collection, as well as the works of photographer, Tyler Mitchell and his concept of Black Utopia.
Although aesthetically this project presents as a work of fashion editorial, I also present the argument that this project can exist as a work of spatial design and architecture, namely clothes as a space for the body. The space's form, construction, and locale dictate the occupant’s behavior, movement, and experience. I believe that to be true on the scale of a shirt, to that of a building. This is why I felt that the aesthetic choice of making a men's shirt, which may communicate a stereotypical masculine gender role, requires that I also be mindful of patriarchy as an inseparable framework that the project exists within, given the socialized understanding of who is expected to wear particular types of clothes. The writings of bell hooks, specifically her books, “feminism is for everybody” and “The Will to Change”, provided a critical context to help me grasp the concept of feminist masculinity, which articulates a vision of feminist change
in which men play productive roles as “comrades in struggle.”