By Pearl Ashton Geering
Unlikely crush of the month: middle-aged transvestite Grayson Perry. Biologically unrelated to Katy, although their wardrobes are not dissimilar, Mr. Perry is probably Essex’s most famous tranny potter. Priscilla QOTD can go crimp herself. Our Grayson is as famous for his vivid babydoll dresses and hairbows as his artwork, which, if you care to look, displays all the exact artistic skill juxtaposed with confrontational subject matter that’s the hallmark of many traditionally-trained, successful contemporary UK artists. And, in the manner of all the greatest outsiders, Grayson has recently been made an RA.
Congratulations, you sexy blonde part-time biker part-time cross-dresser full-time husband father and Turner-Prize-winning artist! There’s no one else like you, operating so publicly in the overlapping Venn diagram worlds of Fashion, Art and Transvestism, with added teddy-bear appeal.
Oh God Grayson, stop crying. We love you for your work and frock-wearing, not just your looks. There there, have a wet-wipe (excellent non-smear mascara btw). Really? You make each piece of work yourself, unlike Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin? You glorious great garter wearer you! You remind us why fashion isn’t the most equal playing field for the sexes. Never mind about the male designers condemned as women-haters, advertising blamed for the annual increase in eating disorders amongst the under-10s and teenagers encouraged to aspire to levels of spending they will never reach by an entire industry. What have the young men who want to look desirable and on-trend got to spend their money on? Espadrilles? Piss off. Queen Victoria exterminated mens’ fashion in the UK like a giant crinoline-clad Dalek. Gone are the exquisitely embroidered weskits and frock coats, male corsetry and elaborate stockings. We can blame Victoria for wiping out the Dandy and making some sort of bollocks social decree that having fun with fashion should be a female-only realm. This is the realm the transvestite seeks to reconquer. Why were men thrown out of pre-lapsarian sartorial paradise? Which style snake encouraged them to bite on the apple of bland and quiet adornment; which Almighty, Ever-Loving Father cruelly cast his sons from the Great Land of Ward-Robe and let the girls keep the ribbon box? Who was that shit responsible for stopping men wearing pink linen skirts? It wasn’t a man, it was a WOMAN.
Phwoaaar, Grayson. Obviously if you looked like a transvestite cross between Eric Pickles and Andrew Lloyd Webber we’d all be running in the opposite direction facing backwards to make sure you didn’t lump alongside and suffocate us with winceyette, so the fact that you’re still unfeasibly attractive clad in that tea-set printed butter-yellow silk frock with the pink ruffled collar and cuffs is not immaterial, as it were, but oh GOD we do also love you in your leathers. Even when you bring your teddy-bear.
Seasonal Ref: You wouldn’t expect Grayson’s to be a style that appears on the catwalks that often (shame) and it isn’t to even though there were a few skirts at Rick Owens. Looking forward all the way to SS12 however we see a womenswear collection so perfectly Grayson it could have all been made as a private commission. Meadham Kirchhoff’s babydoll parade of pastel marabou and kiddies colouring-book motifs may have been dedicated to Courtney Love and “the girl on the cake” however we feel it is far more suitable for lovely Grayson Perry: the girl with the most cake.
Must Have: A fur trimmed teddy, and a furry teddy bear.