Sat, 18 May, 2:00pm $5
Six clients get measured and fitted for new clothes at Bindle & Keep, a tailoring outfit specializing in making clothing for those outside of the gender binary. Going deeper than fine fabrics and silk linings, the film takes a modern, evolved look at gender through the conduit of clothing and elucidates the private and emotional experience surrounding it. With heart and optimism, the film documents a cultural shift that is creating a new demand — and response — for each person’s right to go out into the world with confidence.
Bindle & Keep is a Brooklyn tailoring company catering to an LGBTIQ clientele, creating custom-made suits for gender-nonconforming and trans* clients. Rae and Daniel take a holistic approach to their work, considering each client’s personal narrative, which becomes inextricable from the creation of the perfect suit. From Derek’s emotional journey as he prepares for his wedding, to Everett, a law student in a conservative environment, or Mel, who simply wants to look good for their 40th birthday party — the need for well-fitting garments represents deeper meaning around identity and empowerment. Suited takes a modern look at gender through the conduit of clothing, while illuminating the emotional and personal experience.
I learned a lot about feelings that people go through in these positions. And how the tiniest things can mean so much to them. It was wonderful seeing them all feel good in their own skin, their pride and readiness to go tackle the world. On the one hand it is a shame that they need a special place to go to and that “normal” businesses cannot design for all people. But on the other hand it is wonderful that this company exists, with an open heart and mind. The message at the end is that this isn’t about fashion but about helping people wear things that fit and they feel confident being seen by the world in. I appreciated that they had a spectrum of people from transgender men and women, to people who identified as genderqueer. I think that’s important because it emphasized that you don’t have to identify as a man to wear a suit.
USA 2016, 78 min, rated PG
Directed by Jason Benjamin