I wanted to create a garment that has relevance to my life. As an avid lover and participant of gay nightlife in New York, I also wanted to create a garment that was specific to that life. There is a night, every Thursday, where the Museum of Sex has a Rupaul’s Drag race viewing party. After that, everyone goes to a club called ‘The Box’. Both of these places have very different atmospheres. The Box is a high glamour affair, with no coat check and lots of incredibly well-dressed people. The Museum of Sex is more relaxed, more of a drag show venue.
The garment I have made allows a seamless and easy transition from the outside to inside both these places, discarding the need for a coat check by integrating the jacket into the ‘look’.
I started this process when I revisited John Galliano’s first ready-to-wear show for Maison Margiela. As a type of subtle branding, he made dresses out of the coat lining, still attached to the coat. this would allow the wearer to simply take the sleeves off of the jacket and let it gracefully hang at the back.
Another issue I wanted to address was the one of transport. Sometimes, when one goes out in eccentric clothing, it can be difficult as people tend to stare on the subway and it is very uncomfortable. So I wanted to make the transformation very drastic, going from very discrete to glamorous in a matter of seconds, and with optimal ease.
I tried to do this but was unsuccessful as the lining of the jacket was too small and made out of an incredibly cheap fabric that would not allow me to even try and make it look as polished as I would want it to.
I then went back to my idea of discreet transport. What was something that the everyday man would wear? A plaid shirt. The epitome of the ordinary, working man. Taking a plaid shirt of mine, I first tailored it to fit closely to the body. Then, using a decoratively embroidered piece of fabric from Fabscrap, I cut parts of it out and fastened the fabric to the cutout as an overlay.
one side of the shirt has fabric that is cut into two strips to allow movement while dancing as well as pocket access that is easy and discreet.
The jacket, once undone can fall behind, be zipped halfway up the body or even with the sleeves tied around the waist to create a corset-like effect.
at the back of the collar, I have attached a black strip of fabric that at first ties onto the sleeves to keep them up. They can unfasten and the sleeves will fall. this enables the wearer to tie the black fabric as a scarf, a tight headscarf or even a draped hood, inspired by the amazing Grace Jones. The fabric, after much experimentation, was cut in an almost quadrangular shape, lending a sort of bias cut effect to it, where the warp of the fabric is in most use.
The colours are all chosen to go with each other. the lighter red and white of the shirt strongly contrast with the embroidered, shiny black and gold embroidered fabric and complement the deep, wine red of the jacket.
This project was hard but I wanted every function to have a real purpose. The end result is something that I am very proud of and would actually wear out.