The Ryerson gym, the pinnacle of traditional masculinity, was the venue of the Refashioning Masculinity fashion show on May 5th. Associate Professor and Doctor Ben Barry’s goal for the show was to turn his research and research subjects into a sensory and inclusive experience, and he certainly succeeded.
Before the show was an exhibition featuring pieces from Ryerson Fashion Design students - each questioning the perception of gender and masculinity in fashion in their own way. Additionally, the night featured a powerful series of videos from m.bodiment discussing discrimination based on appearance. The video series can be found here
The show pushed to dismantle the notion that men should adhere to a narrow, hyper-masculine image and questioned power structures between men and women. By ridding ourselves of the male stereotype we also get rid of the patriarchal systems currently in place - Barry used a Feminist approach to his research, which aims to put the researcher and subjects on an equal playing field. To support this, he too walked in the show (we loved the grey jacket, Ben!).
Refashioning Masculinity was about the relationship between model and garment, as voice-over passages read by the models explained their personal relationship with fashion, the fashion industry, and how their clothing defined them in society. The show created an extremely positive space featuring diverse models and designers, defying what men are expected to wear based on size, age, race, abilities, or religion.
RADmag was honoured to attend this groundbreaking event, and was inspired by each participant, and audience member. If you haven’t yet, go explore their instagram page to learn more about each model and their experiences.
Check out the looks from the show below!