Women » Features

Boston Hosts Gender-Bending Fashion Show

by Winnie McCroy
EDGE Editor
Friday Aug 8, 2014

On Saturday, August 9 at Boston's Machine Nightclub, Dyke Night's Second Saturday event will feature a Gender-Bending Fashion Show, featuring the bespoke tailored suits of Oakland design company St. Harridan. The fashion show will feature winners of the Boston modeling contest.

"This is our first fashion show," said Dyke Night founder Kristen Porter. "St. Harridan approached us because their clothing is specifically designed for masculine woman or trans men, and we thought it was well suited for our mission to provide events and spaces for trans and butch woman. It is happening in tandem with our regular monthly event, a big dance party."

Since 1998, Porter and her cohorts have held two to four events per month for Boston's women's community. The events range on themes from sexuality and gender discussions, fundraisers for philanthropic organizations, political gatherings or just plain old parties, for holidays or for any day.

"We try to do tremendous outreach and support to the trans community, who are marginalized and underserved," said Porter. "We donate money every year to trans organizations and at least once a year do trans-focused events."


These Second Saturdays parties bring about 800 people out each month, which is a boon for St. Harridan, who will offer a pop-up shop for people to be fitted for suits and buy them, plus off-the-rack dress shirts and ties.

The models for the fashion show are not professionals, but local Bostonians chosen via a national model search St. Harridan ran in tandem with their tour, to better represent the clients they are courting.

"The most exciting thing is that the models are very representative of a broad diversity of age ranges, body types, racial, ethnic and gender presentations, which I don't think is typical in terms of a fashion show," said Porter. "I think people at our events who may not see themselves represented in other places will see themselves represented in our fashion show and identify with that."

Porter said that as Boston continues to boom in terms of economic and business development, GLBT folks are also becoming more represented in the business community.


"The most exciting thing is that the models are very representative of a broad diversity of age ranges, body types, racial, ethnic and gender presentations, which don't think is typical in terms of a fashion show," said Porter. "I think people at our events who may not see themselves represented in other places will see themselves represented in our fashion show and identify with that."

Porter said that as Boston continues to boom in terms of economic and business development, GLBT folks are also becoming more represented in the business community.

"Something like a well-designed suit that fits a woman's body who may be more masculine is absolutely needed to be competitive in this work force," said Porter. "I'm a Justice of the peace and I officiate many LGBT weddings, and many female couples want to wear something like a nice suit. But they often have a very hard time finding something to fit their body shape, unlike the way that St. Harridan invested the time to craft a beautiful suit to accommodate a woman's breast and hips without accentuating them."


Check out the Gender Bending Fashion Show at 11 p.m. on Saturday, August 9 at Machine Nightclub, 1254 Boylston St. in Boston. Admission is 21+ and costs $10. For information, call 617-536-1950 or visit www.dykenight.com


Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women's news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York.


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