Hello, new fan here, and while I ADORE all of Seafine's outfits, I can't help but wonder how common was it for women of the 1920's to be wearing pants and jackets like that? Anyway, I hope you're doing well and the animated short is coming along well as well. Your art is seriously breathtaking <3
Hey, that's very kind. Thank you!
About Serafine's wardrobe...
It wasn't conventional - most women wore dresses or skirts most of the time, as they were expected to - but it wasn't especially uncommon in the 1920s either. "Comme des Garçons" was part of the fashion philosophy of the era of bobbed hair and straight-line, curve-minimizing fabric cuts, after all. It's perhaps not all that surprising that pants and slacks were starting to edge their way into the women's fashion milieu as well.
By the early 20s, knickers and knee-high socks were pretty well accepted as sportswear for women. Later in the decade, loose, wide-legged 'pajama pants' were popular too. Initially they functioned as beach or lounge-wear, but it's probably a fair bet they influenced the rise of women's pant suits in the 30s and 40s.
...And then there was the gender non-conformity.
In the entertainment arena, it was quite trendy, traversing popular vaudeville acts into stage and cinema. Pick any well known actress or performer of the time and chances are you can find a photo shoot of them in a tweed suit, a tux, or Oxford bags and suspenders. Pictured here are Ethel Waters, Josphine Baker, Nella Regini, and Marlene Dietrich, who was the reigning queen/king of the masculine look in Hollywood. She wore it consistently across her career, and by all accounts it ran deeper than just publicity and performance.
There are tales of Dietrich being arrested in Paris for wearing men's clothes in the early 1930s, but that never actually happened. There was an ordinance at the time prohibiting women from dressing like men, and though she may have been (teasingly) threatened with it, it seems no one wanted to come out looking like Boo-boo the Fool trying to prosecute this level of celebrity.
That said, not everyone had blanket social freedom to skirt the law (heh) or to dress out of step with expectations. People from most walks of life risked a lot more than the A-list rich and famous. And what might have been celebrated on stage and in clubs amidst the "Pansy Craze" of that time was not generally regarded with esteem extending outside of those venues. Gladys Bently (pictured in the white tux below) was a very popular singer and pianist in 1920s Harlem speakeasies. She dressed in men's clothes and openly courted women before, during and after the peak of her career, but some decades later presented as more traditionally feminine, declaring herself 'cured'. It's probably worth noting, though, that leading up to this, Bentley was routinely harassed, closed out of performance spots she'd been a star at during Prohibition, and unlike Dietrich, did actually face fines and legal challenges to dressing in men's clothes. And then there was the McCarthy era.
As for Serafine, well, the fact that she's fictional certainly plays some part, but to give it some contextual logic - she's already rather far removed from common practice, what with her unashamed outlaw lifestyle. She's less concerned with conforming to normative social rules than the speakeasy scene she inhabits, and since her reputation precedes her, she doesn't seem to encounter a lot of people willing to risk hassling her about it. So, I suppose as long as she maintains enough underworld clout to afford a good tailor, she'll dress how she likes.
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Being masculine does not make you evil. It doesn't make you an asshole. It doesn't even make you a man... It just makes you masculine.
Masculinity is not exclusive to cis-men.
You can be a trans-man and be masculine.
You can be a cis-woman and be masculine.
You can be a trans-woman and be masculine.
You can identify any way possible and still be masculine.
Masculinity should never be restricted by biology, and it's ridiculous that people think that way. Anyone can enjoy being called handsome and masculine if that is what they want, and there is no shame in that ever.
If you are masculine, no matter your gender, you deserve to be seen, and you deserve respect.
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xenogenders are so cool like... they're almost like metaphors. like "i have a gender and the way it makes me feel reminds me of a shining sun, so im sungender" is so? poetic? it's beautiful?
they're also like abstract art... with the way a painting can look like one thing but actually be mentally connected to something else. like a abstract painting in varying shades of blue can represent the ocean.
i honestly think xenogenders are one of the most beautiful displays of gender variance. it taps into the emotions that gender draws from, and instead of clunking into the box "male" or "female," or even man/woman, they create an entirely new, personal experience
xenogenders are the essence of gender.
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