Dylan McCutcheon-Peat has been turning a few heads in London this week, his innovative fashion collection subverting more traditional notions of masculinity.
The Otago Polytechnic Fashion Design graduate recently packed his bags and headed to the prestigious Graduate Fashion Week.
His collection, “Is he a Tomgirl?”, featured at the Swarovski International Fashion Award Show in London’s East End on Wednesday 6 June and prompted the following comments by fashion writer Anna Tank:
“By disregarding conventional concepts of proportioning to female and male models’ bodies, many of the designs exhibited changed ideas of how fashion should communicate with gender.
“Dylan McCutcheon-Peat prominently presented this gender-defying trope by outfitting male models in typically female attire.
“For example, the models were dressed in atypical female materials such as lace and mesh. Furthermore, they were in romanticised dresses and featured slits in trousers. Dylan showcased a completely innovative take on male dressing.”
Dylan says Graduate Fashion Week is the highlight of his career to date.
“I only graduated last year. I did iD Fashion Week and that was really big, but this is a whole new level.”
Dylan developed “Is he a Tomgirl?” last year as part of his final year of a Bachelor of Design (Fashion) at Otago Polytechnic, and it featured alongside work by 45 other designers from around the world at the Emerging Designers’ Show at iD Fashion Week in Dunedin in May, .
He says he aims to encourage different perceptions of masculinity.
“It is about making people aware there can also be a fragility to the notion of masculinity. And by using elements of lingerie within the collection, I make it very visible.
“Everything also has a very tailored aspect to it. The idea is to use tradition to break with tradition.”
Dr Margot Barton, Otago Polytechnic Head of Fashion, says Otago Polytechnic is the only institution in New Zealand to have been invited to show in London.
“It’s very exciting. We are supporting Dylan by paying for his registration. Being right there, getting that international exposure, is so important.”
Dylan, who also received financial support from Otago Polytechnic’s Education Foundation, is being accompanied by fellow Otago Polytechnic Fashion Design graduate Ariane Bray, who is “lending a hand”. The pair will spend “three or four months” travelling through Europe before returning to Dunedin.
However, Dylan is unlikely to remain in Dunedin for long. He has plans to move to Melbourne and set up a bespoke design business.
“Since graduating I’ve had a fashion design studio in Dunedin, making stuff for people. I plan to do the same in Melbourne.”
Read more about Graduate Fashion Week
Read more about Otago Polytechnic’s Bachelor of Design (Fashion)