Thursday, January 21, 2010

Queer Fashion Models pt. 1: Freja Beha Erichsen

In an attempt to increase visibility for queers in the world of fashion, I've decided to pay a little homage to queer models in the fashion industry.

I am in love with gender play, androgyny, and gender variance in fashion design and styling, and can especially appreciate models who in their daily work, are styled in various fashions despite their own personal gender expression.

In queer sexuality, so much of our sexuality is expressed in our gender expression. Every degree of our gender (weather its dress, poise, verbal or physical communication), is carefully expressed and interpreted; for as people who are sexually attracted to people of our same sex, we cannot simply look to the opposite sex as a way of finding a partner. We use gender expression, not sex, in finding our sexual and romantic partners.

Personally, I've always been one in that my gender expression is not always an obvious indicator of my sexuality. With this, I have the privilege of passing as straight in certain environments. I have much respect for queer people who don't have this privelege. I have respect for people that as a majority, have gender expressions outside the societal norm.

Models for their living, are constantly having to model various styles and gender roles that given to them, despite their own gender expression. I respect their ability and willingness to do this on a daily basis.

I love this willingness no matter what the person's born gender is or current gender is, but as a start I'd like to start with female born queer models. At this time in history, the visibility of female born queer people in the fashion industry is not a majority, even despite the growing acceptance of male queers in the fashion industry. (Furthermore and importantly, the visibilty of transgender and gender variant people is not a majority). For the reasons I've listed, I's like to pay tribute to female born queer models in the fashion industry. (a continuation of this topic including all genders coming soon).

First on my list is Freja Beha Erichsen. I first took notice of her in Alexander Wang's FW 08 runway coverage. Something about her even past the obvious androgynous styling's of Alexander Wang, had me wondering about her. Turns out my inclining's were right.

Beha was born on October 18, 1987 in Roskilde, Denmark. She has been seen walking down runways for top designers including Prada, Louis Vuitton, Miu Miu, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Balmain and more. Working as a model since 2005, she has grown to great success and is primarily appreciated for her tattooed and androgenous look.

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