One of the most oft-repeated bits of advice about living in New York City is that you should never make eye contact with strangers or look at anyone for a prolonged period of time. However, as any woman living in the city will tell you, it is very obvious that many individuals do not adhere to this belief. To walk down a city street is to seemingly invite gawkers, propositions, and unsolicited commentary. Compounding this is the fact that while so many women try to deflect such unwanted attention, they are at the same time bombarded with provocative images of highly-idealized, overly-sexualized women on billboards, TV’s, advertisements, and magazine covers that are very obviously inviting the onlooker’s gaze. The prevalence of such images of women is at the heart of film theorist Laura Mulvey’s theory of the “male gaze”. The male gaze theory classifies the presentation of women in film as passive objects to be looked upon from an active heterosexual male point of view.

Antagonistic Couture is a reaction to the migration of the manufactured male gaze of cinema and advertising into everyday life, into the daily interactions between men and women. My project is a manifestation of the antagonist female response to the objectification of the male gaze. Through the use of subversive imagery printed on dresses, it seeks to challenge the male gaze in a variety of ways – by presenting the male heterosexual viewer with imagery that is threatening to the viewer’s masculinity or challenges their notion of what is attractive.

the dresses >>
the accessories >>
the prototypes >>
the final document (.pdf) >>
the final presentation >>
other documentation >>
the designer >>