In my previous iteration I prefaced my project with the framework of queer aesthetics as a means of negotiating what I am calling “apocalyptic horizon”, in conversation with Jose Muñoz’s theory that queerness is a horizon, a modality of survival. I realize that this theory is quite abstract upon first entry, however I shall attempt to unpack this theory by contextualizing it with work in the contemporary fashion movement that is categorized as “post-apocalyptic” of which is coming out of queer-headed fashion houses. I shall then put my own project of 3D-printing a bra made of chain mail that can be added and subtracted to depending on the constraints of the body into conversation with the theory of Muñoz and the work of post apocalyptic fashion houses. The model I am designing piece around is my dear friend Kat, a queer-identified trans woman in the midst of her transition, and ideally she will utilize this garment indefinitely as her body changes. I assert that the work I am attempting to actualize is worthy of materialization because it serves feminist value, attempts to create a dialogue about theories of queerness, apocalypse, futurity and is an effort to fix the problem of clothing’s disposability once it can no longer fit a body.
Currently in the New York fashion world, more and more younger brands are adopting the aesthetic of the post apocalyptic, which can be defined by characteristics including hyper-customization, hyper-branding, and utilitarianism. Brands like Hood By Air1, Telfar2, ASSK3 (of Paris), Eckhaus Latta4, and Luar Zepol5, in particular exemplify the aesthetic of the post apocalyptic as well as all being headed by queer designers. While queer people working in fashion is not necessarily something particularly new, the contingency of the post apocalyptic aesthetic contextualized by the modality of queerness in the aforementioned queer-identified designers’ work must not go without recognition and analysis. Because most lines are prepared a year in advance for commercial release, the post-apocalyptic aesthetic in relation to time is emblematic of the relationship of the millennial generation has with the future: one that is not necessarily forgiving to those inheriting the environment, economy, and hegemonic social order. The aesthetic may be envisioning a future less bright, however the work of the post apocalyptic in relationship to queer aesthetics shows a resiliency and an armory for the body despite it. I assert that the horizon of queerness as a modality is in tandem with post apocalypse as a potentiality.
In the thesis of “Cruising Utopia”, Muñoz defines queerness not as sexuality but a modality in relation to futurity:
“Queerness is that thing that lets us feel that this world is not enough, that indeed something is indeed missing. Often we can glimpse the worlds proposed and promised by queerness and the realm of the aesthetic, frequently contains blueprints and schemata of a forward dawning futurity. Both the ornamental and the quotidian can contain a map of the utopia that is queerness. Turning to the aesthetic in the case of queerness is nothing like an escape from the social realm, insofar as queer aesthetics map future social relations. Queerness is a performative because it is not simply a being but a doing for and toward the future. Queerness is essentially about the rejection of a here and now and an insistence on potentiality or concrete possibility for another world” (Muñoz, 1)

The mapping of future social relations though queer aesthetics is a modality of futurity, a relationship with time extending beyond the realm of sexuality into the realms of ornament, space, and relation through the envisioning of an alternative to the here and now. The “here and now” shows little promise to those inheriting the future, which I am referring to as “the apocalyptic horizon”, in which we currently operate. The apocalyptic horizon is a potentiality in which queer futurity rejects the here and now and proposes another other world in which the meek have inherited the earth.
One of the conceptual pillars upholding the apocalyptic horizon structure is environmental collapse, often the garments of the post-apocalyptic aesthetic are meant to interact with an environment of post apocalypse, for example: ASSK’s redesign of RealTree print camouflage including items such as iPhones, BIC lighters, prescription pills, and other objects that exist the here and now that are associated with modern day survivalism:
“The ASSK Fall / Winter 2013-14 collection is inspired by survivalists, a hard core subculture, found most predominantly in middle America. ‘Preppers’ are readying for the end of life as we know it. But the collection explores the average person, taken completely unaware, in an apocalypse that is a bit of a disappointment… roaming around middle America, scavenging for prescription drugs and out of date junk food snacks, aimlessly filling in time, waiting for nothing. The brand does not divide it’s collection into male and female looks, instead the majority of the collection can be easily worn by either sex.” (Kowalewski, Schofield)
The joining of a utilitarian garment such as a camouflaged jacket with objects of the modern day, the here-and-now, envisions a future less bright combatted through garments that are meant to interact with the projected environment, while also not gendering the object. By not gendering the object, we can glimpse into a future in which the biopower of the gender binary does not exist projected by the object as a rejection of the hegemonic here and now.
(Pictured above: ASSK’s apocalyptic take on RealTree)

I asked myself: how does the body adapt to its changing environment and what are the constraints that the body must adapt to in order to survive? In my own projection of the future less bright, garments must no longer be objects that become disposed of once they are outgrown or once a body cannot fit comfortably in them. My solution to this problem is a detachable chain mail fabric that can be added onto or subtracted depending on the constraints of the body. My design is based on printing sheets upon sheets of semicircles that contain an opening and a closing of a clasp when joined together, which can then be linked like typical chain mail. When I think about bodies in constant states of change, my mind turns to a friend whose body is undergoing states of change while taking hormones for her transition. Kat is a woman who was assigned male at birth and transition is a performance of physical actualization, a rejection of her here-and-now of the current constraints of her body and the imposed gender assignment of her parents at birth, the physical embodiment of her womanhood in the horizon. Kat soon will be developing breasts during her hormone treatments, and I seek to make her a bra out of this chain mail fabric that she can add onto as her breasts grow, an armor of sorts in the face of the apocalyptic horizon. While I cannot guarantee the comfort of a 3d printed bra hinders the object’s functionality, the conceptual aim of this project is more so the focus than trying to create a marketable and functional object.
Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 9.51.01 AM
(pictured above: the prototypical rendering of the clips)

In my imagination of the near future, technology will have meshed closer with the human form: the line between animate and inanimate object eventually converging. In relation to futurity, this bra is being materialized with a MakerBot Desktop Replicator 2 3D-Printer, a device heavily associated with the technologically advanced near future and the potentialities along with it. The act of making a garment that is set to have function in the not yet here while becoming a part of the body it frames is a physical manifestation of a concept that exists in the imagination, in the potentiality of the future. Donna Haraway theorizes on the connection between the future and imagination by stating:
“High-tech, gendered imaginations are produced here, imaginations that can contemplate destruction of the planet and a sci-fi escape from its consequences. More than our imaginations is (are) militarized; and the other realities of electronic and nuclear warfare are inescapable. These are the technologies that promise ultimate mobility and perfect exchange…” (Haraway, 17)
This outlook on the apocalypse being entwined with the perpetual advancement of technology denotes a militarized imagined future. The “realities” Haraway speaks of exist in the not yet here, yet we are following the forward trajectory of technological advancement so it can be seen as a tangible potentiality. My object follows in the same beam cast by this projected reality, armor for the horizon of obstacles unknown in a time period marked by uncertainty. In this time of uncertainty, we can imagine the other worlds promised through the modality of queerness as a means of combatting the apocalyptic horizon, and I am to combine the technological with the theoretical/intangible through the materialization of this garment.

Muñoz, José Esteban. Cruising Utopia: The Then and There of Queer Futurity. New York: New York UP, 2009. Print.
Haraway, Donna. “Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto Science, Technology, and Socialist-Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century,” in Simians, Cyborgs and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (New York; Routledge, 1991), Pp.149-181.” Donna Haraway. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.
1. Hawgood, Alex. “Hood by Air Has a Fashion Moment.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.
2.Duncan, Fiona. “Forever 69: Postgenderism Is Fashion’s Future, Our Future.” Bullett Media. Bullett Media, 24 Feb. 2014. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.
3.”ASSK· about.” ASSK. ASSK, n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.
4. Strange Touch – Style Bubble.” Style Bubble. N.p., 21 Oct. 2012. Web. 03 Nov. 2014.
5. “LUAR ZEPOL SS15 VIDEO.” Vimeo. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.