In Técha Noble’s work Casey Legler Study the model Casey Legler is depicted in a heavily edited video performing feminine and masculine facial and bodily gestures. Legler’s androgynous appearance allows the model to be recognised as both male and female depending on the characteristics she portrays.
Casey Legler is a female model that exclusively models men’s fashion. She is the only model in the world to only model clothes for the opposite sex. She is an artist who uses her modelling work as a type of performance art where she inhabits a male persona. Casey Legler uses her position to be a role model to young people. She is an advocate for the acceptance of difference and diversity in society, educating people about her work destabilising the dominant masculine/feminine gender divide.
If images of me out there in the world make it that much easier for another kid, and the kids around them or their parents, to get on with the more important business of figuring out who they are and how they can uniquely contribute to the stream of life, then my job is done.
What is Androgyny?
Androgyny is a term that refers to ambiguous sexual characteristics. It can describe people who have intersex physical characteristics or it can refer to sexual ambiguity in fashion, hair and make up, physical appearance or lifestyle choices. There are many famous people throughout history who have been androgynous or played with androgyny. In the contemporary fashion industry models such as Casey Legler, Jenny Shimizu, Erika Linder and Stella Tenant are females who use their androgynous appearance to model male clothing. In film, stars such as Tilda Swinton, Greta Garbo and the character Annie from Woody Allen’s film Annie Hall have influenced fashion, style and the signification of gender through their androgynous wardrobes.
Casey Legler’s work and the influence of famous androgynous people is not only relevant in the fashion industry. Androgyny is a way for many people to explore their sexuality and persona without having to conform to the stereotypes of their sex.
Listen to Casey talk about her modelling work: