A assessment of gender-neutral style in Netflix’s “The Sandman” and “The Umbrella Academy”
Queer style in media has come into its personal lately, particularly since society has develop into extra open-minded concerning gender identification. In current tv and movie, there are quite a few characters who’re capable of categorical this by means of clothes alone. It’s great to see this degree of illustration in well-liked media, as it may well finally normalize this degree of gender expression.
One nice instance is Need from the Netflix comic-book adaptation “The Sandman.” Within the comedian sequence of the identical title, the character is depicted as gender-fluid, and they’re portrayed by nonbinary actor Mason Alexander Park (“The Legend of Vox Machina”). Whereas Park offers an unbelievable efficiency because the character, what makes the character distinguishable from others is their apparel. For probably the most half, the character spends the present carrying solely both full black or full white, which normally contrasts with the totally crimson aesthetic of their area (which is actually only a large statue of themselves). Not solely that, however they have a tendency to flaunt their naked chest all through this primary season, particularly with V-necks. Their fashion additionally features a pair of golden earrings and a coronary heart necklace, immediately modeled after their character within the comics. In spite of everything, the character is an anthropomorphic embodiment of lust, sexuality and … properly, need.
One other instance is the character of Viktor Hargreaves within the present “The Umbrella Academy.” After the actor Elliot Web page got here out as a transgender man again in 2020, his character was rewritten within the third season to additionally come out as trans in a loving tribute. With regards to how the character expresses himself, his style decisions are extra subdued than within the earlier instance. After he comes out, Hargreaves spends a lot of the remaining season carrying a white shirt beneath a black jacket. Viktor was at all times a really soft-spoken and comparatively shy character all through “The Umbrella Academy,” so his style decisions might simply be an extension of his character quite than an expression of his queerness. Regardless, I do nonetheless imagine that is an instance of a queer character’s style which reveals that their wardrobe doesn’t essentially need to coincide with their queerness.
Some extra campy examples from “The Umbrella Academy” are the style decisions for the character Klaus Hargreaves, as performed by Robert Sheehan. The character’s clothes varies all through the present, however he’s typically very showy with how he expresses himself. There may be even a humorous second within the first season when his sister Allison asks if he’s carrying one in all her outdated attire. One in every of his outfits within the third season is a form of Stevie Nicks-esque black getup and a black hat; plus the character’s lengthy hair provides to the aesthetic. However he will also be seen carrying a vibrant, blue suede jacket, sun shades and striped pants (no shirt although). All through the present, we will see him with earrings and nail polish, and even scenes of him with a feather boa in early episodes. Klaus as a personality is much more energetic than the aforementioned Viktor, so his costume design being extra exaggerated helps amplify his queerness whereas additionally including a way of ambiguity to the general approach that the character expresses his gender.
In brief, costume design for characters can add quite a bit to their personalities, their sexualities and their gender identities. They’ll vary from refined to luxuriant and wealthy, as may be seen in these examples, however they’re vital. As acknowledged earlier, this degree of illustration in media can normalize gender expression and their audience might take it as an indication to completely embrace their gender in the event that they haven’t already. With the ability to reside in your individual pores and skin and really feel snug is one thing that everyone ought to be capable to do. If something, these characters and their style selections can train others that they will do the identical, no matter how showy they could select to be.