Words by Sky Cubacub; Photos by Ireashia Monét
Rebirth Garments is a collection of lingerie, garments and accessories for the full-spectrum of gender, size, and ability. Both the disabled and trans* communities have very particular clothing needs that are not adequately served by mainstream clothing designers. This is due to the general assumption that they are too small of a minority. There are designers who make adapted clothing for these communities, but the designs focus solely on function with almost no concern for aesthetic. These medical-looking garments not only pathologize need but also enforce stigmas. There is a widespread de-sexualization of people with disabilities. This collection combats this idea. It is a celebration of all of our bodies and our existence.
Everyday is a performance where I bring my body as a kinetic sculpture into the consciousness of the people I interact with in passing and on a daily basis. Through chainmaille, I have found my patience. I have been building myself this armor or protection, not against harm exactly, but as a way to give me courage. I am an introvert, but it has given me the strength to be social. I never have to go up to people--they will always come up to me. My chainmaille is prosthesis for the communication of my inner world. My body, my identity, and my prosthesis are one cohesive being.
Rebirth Garments is my soft armor. My collection challenges mainstream beauty standards and the gender binary. Your clothing, especially your foundation garment is the closest thing to your skin, it is your second skin; it changes the way your hold yourself. I consider it amor because it has the power to give you the confidence and strength to feel comfortable in your first skin. My dream is for people to feel as comfortable, safe, sexy, or cute in their clothing as many able-bodied and cisgendered people take for granted due to the options afford them by mainstream fashion. We all have needs that our garments must fulfill; the need for warmth, for comfort, and to be attractive. Historically, the needs of these communities have condemned them to wearing clothes that only partially satisfies their needs but are also unattractive and stigmatizing. Through Rebirth Garments, I hope to provide an option that truly fulfills all of their needs because feeling confident in one's outward appearance can revolutionize one's emotional reality.