Contemporary Fashion Imaginary. Deconstructing Gender


  • Nicole Di Sandro Independent Scholar



Gender, Meaning, Performativity, Identity Politics, Fluidity


Argued by Jacques Derrida, Deconstruction is a critical practice of reading and rewriting meanings: it aims to the decomposition of linguistic systems, by unveiling the function of oppositional categories. Integrating the Judith Butler deconstructive approach to gender identity and its performativity, the essay explores the mechanisms of social determining processes over subjects, defining to which extent fashion participates in gender intelligibility and projection of Self within the society.
Along the analysis of Zanaughtti and Knight’s fashion film Disrupt, Distort, Disguise, the paper inquires provocative queering practices that reject any fixed, essential way of being man or woman. According to Butler’s studies, it unfolds the very fallacy of ‘gender’ noun, its binarity and hierarchical order: gender is a continuous process of citation and alteration, and it is all about doing. As in the movie, such imitative structure is implicitly revealed by Cross-Dressing performances: a parody of heterosexual pre-existing codes, denying the idea of stable Self and its forced naturalization.
These insights are traceable in the continuous becoming and negotiation of dressing practices: embracing the fluidity of gender, fashion imaginary is blurring the line between masculine and feminine, acting a political mediation between social structural changes and the related discriminating resistance.


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How to Cite

Di Sandro, N. (2020). Contemporary Fashion Imaginary. Deconstructing Gender. ZoneModa Journal, 10(1), 51–64.