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Contextualizing Queer Fashion at the
Chicago History Museum

GNAT's Collection was accompanied by live vocals from queer pop star Thair, as models worked their way across the runway.
All gender and sexual expression is celebrated in a Glitter Harness.

March 2018     Photographed by Erik Michael Komer

OUT at CHM | Celebrating and Contextualizing Queer Fashion


Thursday, March 22 — Thursday, March 22

From Masc4Masc camouflage of the ’70s to DIY club kids of the ’80s to dandies through the ages, turning heads ain’t nothing new. Take in an array of head-turning designs that flip the script on gender norms, celebrate young contemporary fashion designers and discover how we’ve arrived at today’s Instagram-fueled hypervisible boom in queer fashion. Stay for a panel discussion that contextualizes today’s queer fashion within the history of fashion and Chicago’s queer past.

  • Kaleigh Moynihan of Authentic Skidmark makes some of Chicago’s most outlandish queer designs that are often found in the clubs and nightlife.

  • Gnat Rosa Madrid of GNAT Glitter Kink creates femme-centered kink and fetish wear.

  • Sky CubaCub, with collaborators Compton Quashie and Jake Vogds, is the creator of Rebirth Garments which specializes in trans, gender queer and disability specific needs in lingerie and swimwear.

Following the fashion show, Panel discussion moderated by Kelly Reddy-Best, queer fashion historian and assistant professor in Apparel, Merchandising and Design at Iowa State University. In addition to the designers featured above, panelists include:

  • Ciera Mckissick, founder of AMFM, a lifestyle brand and incubator space based in Chicago; and Dapper Ball, a 2017 sold-out event that celebrated masculine off-center fashion in the queer community designers.

  • JoJo Baby, JoJo has been working in the nightlife scene as a club kid since they were 13 and has experienced queer fashion boom, recede, and boom again throughout their career

This is the first of three programs in the Out at CHM 2018 series. The next program “Undocumented and Queer” will take place on Tuesday, April 24, 2018, at the Chicago History Museum.

Now in its fifteenth year, the Museum’s popular and provocative series delves into the storied history of Chicago’s LGBTQ communities. This season, join us as we explore the connections between activism of the past and today and how calls to action propel cultural disruption.

* All event participants are subject to change.

Major support for Out at CHM comes from the Exelon Corporation with additional support from Robert Kohl and Clark Pellett and the Richard L. Ohlhausen Education Fund.

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