What an International fuss the latest issue of American Vogue has made?
The first time in 128 years Vogue magazines December issue has on it’s cover the image of a solo man and IN A DRESS! Heavens above!
The chosen guy is Harry Styles, the breakaway idol from the British pop group, One Direction, brought together and discovered on the UK’s X-Factor. These photos seem to be hitting the headlines around the world for mostly the wrong reasons. Mostly the people outraged by these photos see them as masculinity being threatened and even some Conservative US right-wingers warning, rather ridiculously, it could lead to Marxism!
The cover and inside portfolio of more images of gender fluid looks were shot by photographer Tyler Mitchell (@tylersphotos) who, in 2018, was the first black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover featuring the beautiful Beyonce. Mitchell has just published a book of his work called “I Can Make You Feel Good: Tyler Mitchell” available on Amazon. The styling for the shoot was accomplished by seasoned English fashion editor Camilla Nickerson.
On the cover Styles stands in a floor length Gucci designed gown under a black tuxedo style jacket. Talking to Vogue he says “ I’ll go into shops, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing. It’s like anything, anytime you’re putting up barriers in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself”. Last year Styles attended the Met Ball, “Notes on Camp”, with the Gucci designer (@allessandro_Michele) who had created for him an outfit “a nipple-freeing black organza blouse with a lace jabot, and pants so high they cupped his pectorals. The ensemble was accessorised with pearl drop earrings and black slightly raised heeled shoes.
Many celebs and loyal fans have praised the shoot saying that Styles was following in the footsteps of many who have, and still do, buck the trend of gender specific clothing. His mother, Anne Twist, on a UK morning chat show said “who doesn’t love playing dress up”. She added that Styles always had a forward thinking passion for fashion.
Gender fluid looks in clothing is nothing new and has been around for centuries. Over recent years dresses and skirts have often been shown on men on runways by designers, Comme des Garcons Homme Plus, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood to mention just a few. Speaking to many people about this fuss the majority of people do not seem to be shocked with some saying “ oh come on it is just a piece of cloth” or “nothing new here”. Queerguru spoke to an ex Vogue fashion editor who remarked that it “did not seem very authentic”.
GRAHAM FRASER Queerguru’s Culture, Fashion and Arts Correspondent was once half of the award winning FASHION DESIGNER duo WORKERS FOR FREEDOM. Years spent working in the luxury end of INTERNATIONAL FASHION he now lives with his partner the artist RICHARD NOTT and their two Cavapoos Albert and Raf in a stunning renovated 1950’s house on the edge of the Sussex Downs with distant sea views.