Posture is empowering queer designer, artists, and models to be seen by their own community.
Rashaad Newsome and the Winners of the King of Arms Ball. Photo by M.Sharkey
As queerness has progressively found its way into the world of mainstream fashion—whether through public figures, fashion trends, or trans and gender nonconforming models—it’s inherently radical sensibility has become increasingly normalized. Posture magazine aims to take back the gaze of the outside world and celebrate queer counterculture for all of its manifold beauty.
Founded by Winter Mendelson in 2013, Posture is a digital and print platform exploring identity, gender, and sexuality through fashion and art. But unlike the mainstream dilution of queer aesthetics that can be found in contemporary fashion, Posture and the subjects it elevates are on an even playing field. While fashion might have a longstanding tradition of being shaped by queer hands and minds, the reality of its relationship to actual queer bodies is more complex. “When we're talking about white gay men designing clothes for women to fit a (size zero) Western ideal of beauty, that is not diverse or inclusive,” challenges Mendelson. “There are definitely designers and brands out there making conscious decisions to include QT/POC individuals and those outside of the standard sample size on the runway, but I feel that it is fair to state that the industry is incredibly bleak in that regard.”
While the fashion world is happy to book trans and GNC models when androgyny is “in,” it’s still far from actually valuing what it means to be non-binary in a binary world. “Ideas are more often than not taken from the 'queer underground,' stripped of their political meaning and purpose, and then re-presented to a mainstream audience for empty consumption,” Mendelson laments.
In its most recent issue, Posture empowered models, designers, and artists to be seen by their own community through editorials like “The Morlocks,” in which a handful of individuals on all facets of the race/gender/identity spectrum were transformed into mutants, celebrating and delighting in the inherent otherness of having a queer body and the radical act of living authentically.
“Posture is interested in fashion-as-activism in the sense that we feature designers who call into question traditional understanding of beauty, identity, function, gender, feminism, and the body,” Mendelson tells The Creators Project. “We feature and collaborate with designers who create for people outside of preconceived molds for how one is taught they must dress in order to look attractive or feel confident.”
In the political, social, and technological landscape of our modern world, where new generations are born “within the matrix,” outside the limiting views of their predecessors, Posture is a reflection of that desire to take back the gaze, to see and be seen honestly. “Because of the internet, our ideas on gender and queerness—and how we express those things aesthetically—will constantly be in flux,” Mendelson insists. “Life becomes a lot easier when you realize you aren't alone and that there are others out there creating work on subjects that matter most to you. Collaboration and solidarity change the world.”
To learn more about Posture, click here.