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Non-binary stylist hits back at critics over woke Fashion Week stunt

Non-binary stylist hits back at critics who accused them of upstaging the models at Melbourne Fashion Week by storming the catwalk in a T-shirt announcing their pronouns


A non-binary stylist and Instagram influencer has hit back after being criticised last month for turning Melbourne Fashion Week into a ‘pride parade’.

Deni Todorovic, who was hired as a stylist and curator for M/FW, shocked onlookers when they stormed the runway in a T-shirt announcing their pronouns while waving a rainbow flag and holding hands with a transgender model.

The bold move raised eyebrows, with some critics accusing Deni of taking attention away from the designers and their clothing so they could put the spotlight onto themselves.

Speaking up! Non-binary stylist Deni Todorovic has hit back after being criticised for turning Melbourne Fashion Week into a ‘pride parade’ last month

Deni responded to the backlash during an interview with their good friend Abbie Chatfield on her It’s a Lot podcast on Tuesday.

They said they were ‘disappointed’ by an article in the Herald Sun that criticised the progressive performance as a ‘political stunt’ and a ‘fashion faux pas’. 

‘It was so disheartening because they missed the point,’ Deni explained.

‘Fashion has been political since the dawn of time. Fashion is the quickest way to show what’s happening in history,’ they continued.

Progressive: Deni stormed the runway in a T-shirt announcing their pronouns while waving a rainbow flag and holding hands with a transgender model at M/FW last month, which drew criticism from some of the attendees and media

Progressive: Deni stormed the runway in a T-shirt announcing their pronouns while waving a rainbow flag and holding hands with a transgender model at M/FW last month, which drew criticism from some of the attendees and media 

‘Fashion is a mirror to what happens, it always has been. So you’re gonna tell me that this one moment, of a very innocent, if not positively beautiful celebration of diversity, “they/them” wacked on a T-shirt, a flag in my hand… how is that tokenistic or how is that a faux pas?’

This isn’t the first time Deni has addressed the drama surrounding Melbourne Fashion Week. 

In a lengthy statement on Instagram last month, Deni explained the stunt was timed to coincide with the beginning of Transgender Awareness Week and they wanted to highlight diverse people and minorities. 

'It was disheartening': Deni responded to the backlash during an interview with their good friend Abbie Chatfield on her It's a Lot podcast on Tuesday

‘It was disheartening’: Deni responded to the backlash during an interview with their good friend Abbie Chatfield on her It’s a Lot podcast on Tuesday

‘This show was a love letter to my community. To humans that society has labelled outcasts. The rebels, the shape shifters, the unicorns who against all odds, shine brighter than the worlds bullies would like them to,’ Deni wrote.

‘This show wasn’t about fashion, it was about feeling. It wasn’t about following trends, it was about rejecting them. It wasn’t intended to impress media but rather the queer kids who have been excluded from spaces like this. This show was about change. An uncomfortable change that’s been long overdue.’

Deni’s performance on the runway reportedly upset plenty of fashion-goers at the time, with one person saying Deni’s political message ‘was being rammed down their throats’.

Rainbow: Deni said that they were 'disappointed' by an article in the Herald Sun that criticised the progressive performance as a 'political stunt' and a 'fashion faux pas'

Rainbow: Deni said that they were ‘disappointed’ by an article in the Herald Sun that criticised the progressive performance as a ‘political stunt’ and a ‘fashion faux pas’

‘The show was all about Deni, the collection or the designers who worked so hard to pull it together was an afterthought,’ said another.

Deni is best known for their career as an Instagram influencer, boasting over 60,000 followers.

They describe themselves as a LGBTQIA+ activist, non-binary, and vaccinated, with a focus on fashion and queer education. 

Modern times: Deni describes themselves as a LGBTQIA+ activist, non-binary and vaccinated, with a focus on fashion and queer education

Modern times: Deni describes themselves as a LGBTQIA+ activist, non-binary and vaccinated, with a focus on fashion and queer education

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