ISSN: 20500742
First published in 2014
3 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 2
Cover Date: June 2017
Miki Vargas: Queer-fashion photographer and The Handsome Revolution
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Authors:  Kelly L. Reddy-Best 
DOI: 10.1386/cc.4.2.153_1

fashion,men’s fashion,masculine women,photography,queer,transmen

This study documents and analyses the life and work of Miki Vargas (1973–present), a photographer who captured and promoted images, for both commercial and personal projects, of masculine women and transmen and circulated these photographs in the media where this aesthetic is largely if not almost entirely absent. Vargas worked at the forefront of the burgeoning queer-fashion movement in the twenty-first century as the cornerstone photographer for Saint Harridan, a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning (LGBTQ)-focused brand selling men’s fashion to masculine-of-centre women and transmen. Alongside her commercial work, Vargas created a personal series, The Handsome Revolution, where she captured the fashions and aesthetics of masculine-presenting women or transmen, which have quite a similar aesthetic to her work for Saint Harridan. In this article, I also analyse the alternative styles/photographs in The Handsome Revolution and corresponding statements of what masculinity meant to each participant, which Vargas documented for 98 LGBTQ women and transmen. I highlight how Vargas’ photography work created a space for gender non-conforming individuals to feel empowered by their masculine appearance, aesthetic and continual subject formation. This research examines the ongoing possibilities of gender expression in relation to fashion.
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