Feminist Theory 23 (3):370-385 (2022)

There are few sartorial ensembles as heavily signified as masculine as a suit. This article focuses on the suit within queer fashion digital cultures and spaces to explore how butch of colour digital fashion suits up to offer us different ways to think about masculinity. Intervening in the erasure of women of colour in histories of fashion – including menswear – and histories of sexuality – butch, dapper, tomboy, dandy – I argue that butch digital fashion works as a site and composition of flesh, fabric and feeling that reworks masculinity as a project of embodiment. I look at three interwoven dimensions of butch digital fashion – aesthetic process, texture as feeling and spatial imaginations – attending to the themes of fantasy, desire and pleasure. I situate butch within and between fashion studies and media studies to offer butch as a relation, practice, orientation and site of embodiment to think about being and becoming, about the body politics of space and feeling, as matters of race, sexuality, class and gender – and the materialities of race, sexuality, class and gender, mediated by the global, and as the global by the digital. Digital butch fashion is, at once, a visual culture, a creative visual space, a resource of queer fantasy and an aesthetic process. It is messy, tense and fraught with the politics of race, colonialism and class, yet at the same time, dense with possibility, pleasure and eroticism. Butch of colour fashion offers frames and forms for rethinking and remaking masculinity as a sign of a body, as a category of personhood, as a set of practices and feelings made coherent by processes of embodiment.
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DOI 10.1177/14647001221098817
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The Promise of Happiness.Sara Ahmed - 2010 - Duke University Press.

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