Earlier this month, Indore hosted a first of its kind event that showcased Androgynous Fashion, which focuses on breaking archaic gender stereotypes. Feronia Fashion Night is the only event in India that puts models from the LGBT community at the forefront. The event is an initiative taken by the team of Redo Times Pvt. Ltd., to raise awareness on the very sensitive topic of gender equality and LGBT inclusiveness.
The name Feronia is inspired by the Roman goddess of Freedom, Health, and Abundance. A goddess, who granted freedom to slaves and basic civil rights to the humblest part of society. Much like in ancient Rome, equality is a goal of the fight of the LGBTQ community worldwide that also needs freedom to live with dignity. At a time when countries are handing death penalties to people for being gay or transgender, perhaps we can draw hope and inspiration from the legend of Feronia.
The show featured collections from top fashion designers from India and around the world including Wendell Rodricks who his collection named Rainbow Warriors as an ode to those who fought for scrapping section 377. Other designers included Jeremy Fitzgerald, Corinne Smith, Amar Mithapalli and Seema Kalavadia. The spotlight was on slow fashion and sustainability with Padma Raj Kesari’s collection ReDenim Project and Diana Linda who sent down models in 100% upcycled jackets.
Sustainability met gender diversity in her collection of upcycled formal blazers which can be worn by any gender. Her collection was inspired by the activists and slogans of Mumbai gay pride parade: ‘Love is Love’, ‘Non binary, non confused’, ‘Angels have no genders’… The bags were also unisex and aim to combine neo punk style and functionality offering solutions to the post-modern urban women or men with removable straps and pockets for smartphone, charger, sunglasses, keys and wallet.
“Designing and fashion is not a neutral act. It’s political, it has a meaning and an impact. As fashion designers, we have the responsibility to raise awareness on urgent issues such as gender discrimination, environment and sustainability,” Linda told The CSR Journal. The designer of Italian origin has been exploring sustainability and androgyny through upcycling since 2010.
She added, “It is essential that all genders have equal rights, not only on paper and in the written law, but in the eyes of everyone. For society to reach that stage, knowledge is essential. Society needs to see transgenders in all the roles they can take up, to modify the thought that all transgenders are hijras, beggers or prostitutes. It is important that they are seen, heard, and recognized as individuals in their own right.”