JOYCE KICKS OFF THIS SEASON’S FOCUS ON GENDER FREE FASHION WITH ARTIST JAMES JEAN
The JOYCE FW’17 campaign addresses fashion that chooses to celebrate individuality, overlooking the boundaries set by conventional male and female dress codes. Partnering with celebrated contemporary artist James Jean, three mesmerizing pieces of artwork have been created to represent beauty unbound by gender.
There can be no doubt that the line between male and female dress codes has become increasingly ambiguous, with designers, retailers and customers alike exploring a growing disregard for gendered dressing.
This may not be a new idea, but it is a growing one.
This ‘movement’ has sparked a lively conversation within the fashion industry and beyond. Is it a question of diversity? Perhaps it’s more about dressing for comfort than making a statement about identity? Are these motives mutually exclusive? If there’s one thing that cannot be denied, it is that there is something captivating about any person who is not bound by the expectations of their gender.
Visual artist James Jean’s foray into the world of fashion has produced numerous high-profile collaborations, most notably with Prada. Combining these experiences in the industry with his dreamlike grasp of colour and interpretation of the human form, the artist has created two expressions of fashion outside the confines of gender: the first entitled ‘Pistil and Stamen’, the second ‘Facets’ and the third ‘Interstices 1.1’.
On his personal approach to gender the artist comments, "I'm very pleased to be able to explore the theme of gender fluidity with JOYCE. The inspiration for these images were drawn from my interests in identity, science and our ever-mutating culture. In my own life, I've been frequently identified as both genders, while never fulfilling the expectations of being a cisgendered male. This has never disturbed me, as I enjoy existing in the fringes of society from where I can observe the external world and escape the pressure to conform, even though I lead a conventional life in many ways. The tension and friction between all these forces drives the momentum of my creativity.”
With regards to the meaning behind the pieces he has created for the JOYCE FW’17 campaign, James Jean explains, “The protagonists of ‘Pistil and Stamen’ explore an eden of giant flowers and graphic cuttings, as hermaphroditic snails leave a multi-colored trail through the landscape. Our protagonists are back to back, splayed like a Rorschach inkblot, mirrored twins entangled among the blooming flowers.”
“In ‘Facets’, giant crystals propagate the landscape. The characters, like a gang out of A Clockwork Orange, dangle from crystal shards, reflecting a spectrum of identities and the shadows and lights of their lives”.
In ‘Interstices 1.1’, he says, “I thought the pseudo-camouflage motif was appropriate, relating to layers of identity, blending (fluidity), disguising/hiding.” the artist added.