The Well-Trodden Path
Calgary, Alberta

In Fashion and the Well-Trodden Path (2021), Hilderman explores the ways in which the fashion industry employs the normalization of the gender binary and how the images used in its advertising continue to reinforce the compulsivity of heteronormative spaces in society. Through a ten-part photo series, they bring forward a discussion of the gendered expectations and values enforced upon both male- and female-presenting bodies. They highlight that it is not until we "fail" to maintain this binary or deviate from this "well-trodden path" that we break through and bring the binary into question. Hilderman's work brings forward a questioning of the heteronormative system in society and a neutralization of its dichotomy in gender through a blurring of the lines between the so-called "opposing" entities. Their work suggests a new orientation, that of gender along a spectrum, and how this can be represented within the fashion industry.

Using the models of both Erving Goffman (1985) and Mee-Eun Kang (1997) these standardized scripts were analyzed through 2021 fashion campaigns.

Well-Trodden Path - FULL PROJECT HERE

Lex Hilderman
Calgary, Alberta