There is wide speculation about the origin of the term “drag”, but it is now popular belief that the term stands for “Dressed As A Girl”, stemming supposedly from theatrical traditions when, in Elizabethan times, the female roles were played by male actors.
Although the term seems be biased toward male transvestism, it is generally known that drag may be practiced by people of all gender identities and all orientations, in a myriad of different ways by endless numbers of individuals for a million different reasons. Above all, drag is a uniquely individual pursuit.
A theme common to a lot of male drag practice has been to personify certain female ideals. For some, it is about the man looking convincingly "real" as a woman. But for many more, it is about transcending idealized femininity.
Drag, in its most typified form, therefore, speaks to a polarization of gender expression through clothing.
I have undertaken this project, “Dressed As A...” with a more ambiguous approach to drag costuming in which there is an assumption of gender fluidity. I have tried to express my own attitudes toward idealized femininity, body image and gender normative clothing. I pegged these notions on a basic idea of The Female Trinity, which consists of 3 archetypal female figures: The Maiden, The Mother and The Crone.
I am a costume designer. I create masks for bodies. Masquerading, or even just dressing up, creates a certain amount of anonymity and liberates people from themselves. Some masks are intended to deceive, while others act to reveal truths.
Drag, like any other masquerade, is usually expressed as an extension of the self. It is about the embodiment of a character, and the character is usually the direct invention of the performer. In this project, however, the characters are the invention of the costume designer.