One of most exciting developments that has happened as the gender queer community continues to evolve, is the determination to find new ways to express their identities in every manner of things, which increasingly includes the way we dress. As queerguru was an integral part of the UK fashion industry for many years, we appreciate that even wanting to find clothes that do not conform in anyway to the current trends and fads that the main designers and retailers are hawking, is far from easy. It is however no longer impossible thanks to a handful of innovators, who with a great deal of foresight and pioneering spirit are now producing genderqueer or genderneutral clothing.
So far queerguru has profiled NY Tailors Bindle & Keep in Suited and Lauren Craig’s Tomboy Toes and today we take a close look at a brand new clothing line from London called Bull & Dagger. It’s the brainchild of 30 year old Meera Amin, who, after she came out four years ago, has become increasingly gender non-conforming. She was continually frustrated by not being able to get the clothes she wanted and in sizes that fit her, but the final straw was when she was asked to leave a women’s changing room in a store, because they claimed that she didn’t look like a female.
Amin has no experience of the fashion industry at all and in fact had studied Biochemistry, but she put her expertise as a Research Assistant to good use and she soon discovered that in her fashion quest she was not alone, and they were in fact a great many people with similar needs and aspirations. So she decided to do something about it.
Eighteen months ago Amin started working with a team of young designers to make her ideas a reality. With the aid of an expert pattern cutter and a very experienced tailor, she got her collection made ….. and even better, all produced locally in London.
She has very cleverly kept the first range small and controllable …..currently its consists of 13 pieces …. but she has plans to add more items over the coming months, plus a casual collection, and accessories too. Best of all, it can be brought from stock or made to measure courtesy of their own bespoke tailor.
queerguru asked Amin who her customers have been in the first few months of business and she told us “Bull & Dagger clothing is tailored for gender expression rather than restriction, so we have a customer base which includes individuals who identify as queer, androgynous, non-binary, gender fluid, gender neutral, gender non-conforming and trans. We have worked with two wonderful trans models and several queer and non-binary models over the past few months.”
Amin describes Bull & Dagger’s look as being influenced by classic British design and tailoring but with a flamboyant edge. Buoyed by its initial success, she is already working on her second collection, and is also in the throes on putting together plans for London’s first ever Queer Fashion Week in 2017. She revealed to queerguru that she hopes to be able to expand the brand and would love to collaborate with larger fashion companies in the future, allowing them to make our clothing more widely available and accessible.
Before we finished our conversation we asked Amin why the name bull & dagger? We must confess that we had no idea that Bulldagger is pejorative slang for a very masculine lesbian, which often carries a more racialized meaning than its synonyms bulldyke, bulldiker, and diesel dyke. She is intent on turning a phrase that once had negative connotations into something meaning coming from power and strength. We have only just met her, but we already know that if anyone can make that work, it will be Meera Amin.
The clothes can be ordered at www.bullandagger.com and can be shipped internationally on special request.