More queer visibility in fashion is needed, and RFW is achieving it.

Among others, one intersection that should have more queer visibility is fashion. Rainbow Fashion Week, founded by Jaguar Beckford did just that, for the third consecutive year. RFW is breaking the mold of who and how fashion is being presented, while bringing LGBTQ individuals together at fun events. 

Additionally, this year RFW presented the first Carbon Neutral Fashion Show, mainly focusing on local water quality issues and solar energy. One of the shows was even a dumpster diving challenge. 

While RFW's diverse schedule featured everything from hair to dog shows, I checked out Trans’tion, Drag Stars, and Inside Celebrity Closet: Black & White.

Trans’tion was located where most of the shows were, Caelum Gallery, Chelsea. As well as showcasing the garments, the show was about gender and gender fluid visibility. It was great to see all the support from the audience and hear live music performances. The cool thing about Trans’tion was that the models were a diverse representation of LGBTQ+ youth.

But Drag Stars was my favorite show. What’s more fun than a drag show? Located at Visana, a lounge in the East Village, which also serves pizza in the front, the night featured an enthusiastic crowd, numerous drag queens, lip syncing, and alcohol. Following the Orlando shooting, the event had an atmosphere of awareness and togetherness, which felt comforting and healing. This event was less about fashion and more about performing, and was definitely a fun night.

The second to last show of Rainbow Fashion Week 2016 and the last one I attended was Inside Celebrity Closet: Black & White, which was advertised as celebrating that all bodies are beautiful. After learning how a lot of body acceptance phrases are excluding trans individuals, I was looking forward to seeing this. Similar to the drag show, it used entertainment and performance to get a message about tolerance and diversity across. There was a lot of dancing and singing, and even a rap about Orlando. This event got a huge crowd packed into a small space. All the fashion was programmed to be monochromatic, and the bodies, of all kinds, were beautiful. 

Rainbow Fashion Week 2016 was another success and I hope it continues to thrive year after year.