It’s like the manssiere, only different

By Christin Scholten

It’s much more than just a nipple fetish.

At first glance, Dee Fontans work seems to be very off-the-wall. That is the first thing anyone will notice when they set foot in the Stride Gallery this month. Fontans’ new collection, Men Abreast, consists of male nipples exposed in a geometric opening on the left side of a shirt.

The shirts themselves are metallic, and yet your eyes will directly focus on the nipple. The style of these shirts were all created for a reason. Fontans wanted to show that men can also be nurturing, and to do this she uses the most obvious symbol of the nipple.

Fontans believes in looking at similarities between the sexes instead of differences. That point was very evident in showcasing her Man Abreast collection along side her Birthday Bra series. It is easy to notice similarities rather than differences with the bras and shirts displayed besides each other. Her original birthday bra was designed to celebrate her 40th birthday. It is a year later now and since then she has designed three others. Each bra is made of anodised aluminum and each is decorated with 250 cubic zirconia, as well as material such as gold foil, moonstones, and fibre optic strands.

With her attempt to make wearable art, Fontans has also made her art wearable for the average person. You won’t see any anorexic models on her runways. She has tried to create clothing that celebrates the body instead of constricting it. She is an artist that is not afraid to model her creations, as the focus of most of her work has been her own body.

Although her designs are very eccentric and fun to look at, there is a message behind each of her creations. She seems to be trying to dispel the old myths about men and women, and get back to basics of what makes us unique and yet so similar.

Fontans can be found teaching at Alberta College of Art and Design. Looking at any of her work, which includes the fashion as well as some unique jewelry, you can see there is more to Fontans than just bras and nipples.

Both of Fontans’ collections can be viewed at Stride Gallery until Feb. 26.


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