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Student’s concept collection challenges gender norms

A Middlesex University Fashion Design student has created an avante garde new clothing collection, designed to challenge fundamental preconceptions within society.

Orion Facey, 20, has focused on creating clothes for the transgender community - garments that are not specific to either male or female genders.

The project is both highly conceptual and very personal to Orion, who describes themself as non-binary.

Orion explained: "I believe the views and preferences of transgender people are currently underrepresented in the fashion marketplace. I'd like to change that.

"As a society, we all typically work within the constructs of gender, and I aim to challenge those constructs and constraints through my work."

In coming up with their designs, Orion played with the idea of things being 'lost in translation'; a reflection on how transgender people often feel their identities are lost or distorted when they have to present a 'face' to the outside world.

Orion also drew heavily on 'glitch culture'. Glitch art deliberately integrates what would traditionally be thought of as 'glitches', 'bugs' or 'errors in the system' and uses them to create aesthetically interesting pieces.

Orion has taken the concept of glitch art and applied it when designing their garments.

One example is a trench coat that is a key piece in Orion's collection. They first took a photograph of a coat sold on the high street, and then hand-drew that image and used their drawing (rather than the original photograph) to inform the pattern they created to make the actual garment.

The whole process was therefore 'glitched' throughout: By the time the garment was complete, it was constructed differently - and looked entirely different - from the original coat.

Orion, originally from Blackpool, will be exhibiting their innovative collection this week at a top London venue: Along with 21 other Middlesex Fashion Design students, Orion has been selected to display their pieces in a fashion show at the iconic St Pancras Renaissance hotel.

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