The Androgynous Performer (Final Collection)

  • Joeley Sutton

‘The Androgynous Performer’ collection came from my love of 70’s psychedelic rock music. Musical icons like Bowie and Jagger are an ongoing influence that travelled through the concept into the final outcomes. The original concept started off as research into surreal psychedelia and the link between this and rock music, pulling my love for drawings and painting I pulled in surreal artwork and combined my drawings skills together to create a dreamlike print. Combining these ideas all together gave me the influence to create garments fit for an extravagant ‘performer’ on stage.

For me the message is about identity and how to embrace one’s full androgynous self using the power of music and fashion. I truly believe the future of fashion is gender fluid. For me what is most beautiful of one gender characteristic is of another’s characteristic, it’s the ambiguity of exploring masculine and feminine features as one through one’s own identity that is beautiful.
The theory of androgyny itself is an impactful inspiration behind this collection, I’m a researcher so my key interests lie in my love for researching and reading theories and essays, particularly Susan Sontag’s ‘Notes on Camp’. I found the more I was learning about androgyny itself, the further my understanding of it became and how I was going to feed this into my work on a physical basis. For me I’m drawn to the feeling behind the concept and how it ties in with 70’s music, this idea of the performer on stage compliments androgyny well and what I wanted my collection to breath. Of course, an example of a performer who has inspired my work being David Bowie himself.
The print in my collection is something that along side the cut of the garments speaks my concept well, the print is constructed of hand drawn faces by myself of famous performers, the surreal aspect to them and the choice of colour and distortion feeds into the psychedelic aspects of the collection.
For the cut of the garments and design process I was inspired by the fit of the 70’s and 80’s era, some of David Bowies on stage outfits and jumpsuits were utilised well in my collection, of course I wanted to maintain a modern aspect to the collection as well as bringing an era back, another inspiration came from Harry Styles, from my research he is the modern day performer I have taken inspiration from. Similar to how I am bringing back an era in my collection, he is the modern-day performer bringing back Bowies style, I wanted to let history repeat itself in my collection.