Jess McQuarrie - Feminist Fatal


Welcome to Feminist Fatal! This is where Jess McQuarrie's projects live. Thanks for looking at them, they like attention. 

Style Q&A: Gehinnom

Style Q&A: Gehinnom

Gehinnom is a local art model and bass player for King Dude. I was lucky enough to get them to style some of the latest Feminist Fatal apparel with their wardrobe and knock out a super fun, hard mix styled shoot. Check out the photos and our Q&A below!


What inspired you to get into fashion in your early life? When I was a kid there was this very bougie design and trinket shop near my mother's office. She'd often take me in there to buy candy, but I'd also get to see those iconic late '90s Helmut Lang ads on the backs of all the magazines. It was so stark, it was the most extreme thing I'd ever seen - something about it really stuck with me.

How would your describe your style evolution? I've had a lot of phases. I've always tried on visual cues of various subcultures and genders to see if they suit me - something I've always framed as a social experiment. Sometimes it works, sometimes it really doesn't. In middle school I was a total Hot Topic weeb. In high school I was low-key goth but filtered through various shades of grunge, emo and raver aesthetics. In college I tried my hardest to be one of those super femme occulty Instagram girls, which was torture, because it turns out I'm simply not femme. My style right now is very influenced by Star Wars and other sci-fi: a lot of asymmetry, utilitarian materials in interesting cuts, heavy layering. I don't want any of my clothing to look like it's from this world. I've also returned to some of the trashy dark fashion I loved when I was in my early teens - being cool doesn't matter as an adult the way it did in middle school, and now I can buy all the Tripp NYC gear my parents told me I wasn't allowed to own!

How does identifying as non-binary shape the way you view clothes? I'm very comfortable obliterating my body under layers of material. It makes me sexless, unidentifiable. I used to think that you had to dress so people could see your body. I was always in low-cut shirts and tight pants, because I thought that's what being a woman meant. Now I can take on whatever shape I want. I'm just a mass of fabric billowing down the street. 

Top three favorite designers? Helmut Lang forever! Of course I love Rick Owens (which anyone could have guessed). I've always appreciated AF Vandevorst - they're a little all over the place, but they play with the tropes of couture fashion in a way that makes sense to me.

If you could only wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be? I have this oversized ASOS bomber jacket with a billion pockets that I never seem to take off; it would be that, some Levi's black skinny jeans, and mid-calf Doc Martens, all black. This outfit is basically my uniform. It's utilitarian and comfortable but edgy enough to look like I've tried.

Favorite makeup product of the moment. Fenty matte lipstick in Clapback - it's a dark navy blue, almost black. I find that dark matte lipsticks can either be too chalky or too greasy but this one has a perfect formula in a really modern color.

If you could shoot with any photographer who would you want to shoot with? There are so many I can't remember them all. I'd love to shoot with Insideflesh. I met Matt Colombo in Milan when I was on tour but we only got to take some quick photos before the show; I'd love to have a real shoot with him.

If you could live anywhere in the world, would you still be in Seattle? I do love Seattle, but if I didn't have any obligations here I might be in Copenhagen or Helsinki. I clearly need to be somewhere cold, and in a large city.

Where are your favorite places to travel? My band tours mostly around Europe, so that's where you'll normally find me when I'm not in Seattle. Ukraine and Russia are bizarre and lovely. Berlin is a lot of fun, but definitely a party city. We recently completed a small Mexican tour, and the food was so incredible I wish we could have stayed there twice as long.

Has going to cons shaped your style? I've always love the maximalism of clothing design in anime and science fiction - everything is super detail-oriented, and of course nothing has to be wearable in real life, so it can be as extreme as possible. There's also an element of escapism to it. I cosplay occasionally, and disappearing into the aesthetics of your heroes feels amazing.

When and why did you get into modeling? I've always had a very poor perception of my own physicality. I had to go to physical and occupational therapy as a kid because I couldn't figure out how to run, or how to tie my shoes, and well into adulthood I still felt like I had no awareness of my body, as if I was just a brain in some kind of awkward ambulatory jar. Modeling forces you to contend with your physical form and understand how it exists in space. It also forces you to contend with your gender identity, as much of the physical lexicon of modeling is focused on these archetypal depictions of femininity - the girl next door, the femme fatale, the madonna/whore complex. I tried to play along for a while, but it was terrible for my mental health. I've been critical of what I consider 'art' and have lost some friends in the industry because of it, but I feel like I'm at a place where I'm making modeling work for me as a nonbinary person.

In what direction would you like to see your art career go? I have no idea. I think mostly about the immediate future. If anyone asks me where I'll be in five years I straight-up dissociate.

We get you Marlow!!

Style Q&A: Gabrielle Myer

Style Q&A: Gabrielle Myer

Maya Samaha as Iconic Angie

Maya Samaha as Iconic Angie