The Vogue queen Origins: Your desire is now more important than your style. Most of the men who dressed like that were straight. He was a regular at 90s gay clubs from Kinky Gerlinky to Queer Nation, which he has heavily referenced in his collections. Madonna, Malcolm McLaren, streetdance. As for the question that haunts the debate of gay men and style, Ganio has a simple and succinct answer. The rent boys of yore plying their trade at Piccadilly Circus.
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30 years of gay style: from disco chic to hipster bears
He mentions his former stylist and collaborator Julian Ganio, the fashion director of Fantastic Man magazine. What we put out there is what we fancy. All Ralph Lauren concessions, department stores, the north, 80s. In their earliest incarnation, Take That, five straight men from the north-west, were styled to catch the eyes of ritzy gay clubbers at La Cage in Manchester. At the beginning of last year I started writing a book, Good As Youabout the mainstreaming of gay pop culture as gay men headed towards complete equality in British law; roughly, a journey from Smalltown Boy to same-sex marriage that felt personal and lived, but would hopefully reflect a wider shift in the country as the gay culture has come into the light.
For many gay men, the closure of bespoke social spaces, as clubs and bars shut up shop, has meant formalising an identity online. An obsessive fan of Southend gothic revivalists the Horrorshe tried to emulate their style on a pocket-money budget. If only more men, gay and straight, myself included, could be more like him. Threads collapsed expanded unthreaded. Madonna, Malcolm McLaren, streetdance.