A book featuring some of V&R's editorial highlights
Viktor and Rolf are a power duo that have designed an intricate body of work together that successfully bridges the worlds of haute couture fashion and conceptual art. They met at the Arnhem Academy of Arts and Design and began working together directly after graduation. You’ll crack open this grandesque book to find stunning handiwork and elegant silhouettes combined with concept driven overtones that won’t be lost to the craft.
Their work together defines fashion as art, “contrasting romance and rebellion, exuberance and control, classicism and conceptualism”. In an interview with exhibition curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot, the designers consulted that they themselves don’t consider their work fashion or art exclusively but simply make what comes to mind. Initially V&R’s work was accepted into the sphere of art rather than fashion but with growing fame their company slowly formed into a recognizable fashion house.
Tony Ellwood of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne put it best in the foreword, “Art plays an intrinsic role in the personal and creative lives of Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, who together create some of the most provocative haute couture of the twenty-first century. It was the art world that first embraced Viktor & Rolf’s designs early in their career and now, as they celebrate their twenty-fifth anniversary, their work is more than ever at home in the contemporary museum.”
It became clear to me as I sifted through the pages of the archive that the work inside was masterful in taste and execution; the designs bring together costume and couture with the exhibition value of contemporary sculpture. …
Art direction: Gruppe Magazine, Designer: Sarah Effenberger, Laura Precious, Accessories: Gesine Försterling, Makeup: Anne Timber, Hair: Franziska Presche, Assisting: René Carrera and Inês Ramos
Make room in your drawer, you need these briefs!
GAYLETTER loves to showcase Tom of Finland. From exhibitions of the artist’s work, to a bedding collaboration Touko Laaksonen’s legacy is important to us. Many brands have taken Tom’s iconic muscle men and used them to amplify textiles and designs. CDLP, the Stockholm based premium underwear label, most recently teamed up with the Tom of Finland Foundation to create a sleek ode to Laaksonen’s penchant for minimalism and masculinity.
You’re definitely used to seeing gaudy, neon jock straps on various dance-floors and bedroom drawers, but CDLP took an opposite approach to these intimates. With simplicity and branding in mind, CDLP stuck to the classic white and black color-ways. Just above the pelvis you’ll find a subtle embossment of Tom’s autograph, marking the style as his posthumous own. The designs feature some of Tom’s most notable illustrations, which adorn the packaging and a limited edition print and portrait of the artist himself.
CDLP produces with an emphasis on sustainability so, not only will you be supporting a brand that supports the queer community, but you’re participating in responsible consumption — CDLP’s underwear is sewn from a fabric called lyocell that’s created using a biodegradable organic fiber from a closed loop wood pulping process. By continuing to use ethical fabrics a CDLP keeps us and the earth in good shape.
Fashion's cult-favorite archive receives a proper publishing treatment.
If you didn’t already know of stylist David Casavant’s extensive archive of conceptual menswear, his book, aptly titled David Casavant Archive (DAMIANI), is the perfect introduction. The collection of images melds together the stylist’s various collaborations between artists and his archive denoting the various views Casavant’s collection inflicts on culture, ranging from the celebrity to the individual creative. If you’re new to the archive, it’s best to skip to the ending where you’ll find the archive’s proper credits. It features some of the most influential fashion from the last 20 years including Helmut Lang, Gucci, John Galliano, Raf Simons, Maison Margiela, Jil Sander and more.
The press release notes, “The David Casavant Archive is a private collection of the world’s rarest and most culturally potent contemporary design, with focus on designers from the late ‘90s to the 2000s, notably Helmut Lang and Raf Simons. Curated over the span of a more than a decade, the archive distinguishes itself through Casavant’s distinct vision of youth and attitude. David Casavant Archive is a natural extension of Casavant’s vision to make fashion accessible, alive and relevant for the times.”
Flipping through the pages, I was struck with an assortment of images ranging from snapshots of a youthful provocateur to snippets of both traditional and digital works of art. While the placement of the photographs do not follow any sort of pattern, this assorted approach to layout allows for surprise. As I leafed through the lightly glossed pages, what stopped me on multiple occasions were the editorial mood boards; screenshots of effortlessly influential fashion collected most likely prior to the shoots. …
Featuring Deon — Hair by Greg Cooper Spencer — Photography by Vincent Dilio — Directed by Boswell Scot and Abi Benitez — Music by Gess + 88MPH
GingerNutz reminds us fashion is for fun, and any animal can model!
A wearer of many hats, writer Michael Roberts mixes his bounty of interest in his latest book, GingerNutz Takes Paris (MW Editions). Inspired by his close friend, foreword-writer and fashion icon Grace Coddington, we follow GingerNutz, the world’s first orangutan supermodel, around Paris. The illustrations, hand-drawn by Michael, feature our heroine at photoshoots, parties, iconic Parisian sites, and fittings at the ateliers of designers from Dior to Comme des Garçons. The outfits featured throughout the story were selected by Grace herself, lending her hand back into styling. A former model herself, Grace long helmed the fashion pages at American Vogue serving as Creative Director for thirty years. Prior to writing and illustrating books, Michael served as Fashion Director of both Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. His former titles explain the palpable love for clothes noticeable on each page.
The drawings – themselves printed on creamy stock paper – harken to classic illustrations from magazines’ past, giving the pink fabric-bound book a vintage, elegant feel. Whether it’s read by a child or an adult admirer of what is considered to be in vogue, GingerNutz Takes Paris serves not only as a reminder of the fun side of fashion, but also as a tribute to Grace’s unwavering influence and the original (and dare we say returning) fashion capital of the world.
The designer's latest collection champions queer stories and characters
Just last year, Nathan Korn graduated from Central Saint Martins with degrees in fashion design and print. His first collection, “An Archer’s Body” pulls from Mark Merlis’ book An Arrows Flight. Featuring Classics inspired sportswear and Greco-Roman draping, Nathan told us in an email that he always has to design around a story. “But it’s usually one I make up myself,” he said. “After reading Merlis’ book, I couldn’t stop thinking about how I needed to make it into something visual and physical. That sense of physical beauty that runs throughout all ancient Greek and Roman life, in the mythology and the art – I’m so drawn to that.”
At this point in time, it’s safe to say that clothes with homoerotic undertones and sensuality are in fact driven by homosexual histories and references. “I’m dressing queer guys and queer people who want to be a part of the stories I tell,” Nathan said. “When I was making this collection, I was thinking a lot about the sculptors who would spend ages carving these really tender masterpieces of beautiful men, preserving beauty in stone forever.” That’s a good thing, we no longer need to hide. It means that we are at a point in fashion where designers are comfortable enough to unleash their unabashed desire for how they’d like to see (and dress) the world. Plus, the market is ever growing. Fashion need not remain stagnant.
Nathan Korn, with “An Archer’s Body” propels his medium forward into the fluid and the neo-familiar. …
Moments between the frames on set for GAYLETTER Issue 8
Early on a Sunday morning last December, we met at our Lower East Side office. It was cold and overcast that day, hardly inviting weather for a shoot. But it was a shoot day nevertheless! With models Markus, Sy, and the twins Jan Carlos & Hector, we set off deeper into the Lower East Side with cappuccinos in hand and a few pastries and arrived on set to shoot with fashion photographer Cody Chandler.
Designed by Neil Patrick Grotzinger, Nihl applies ornate sensibilities to traditional menswear. Using Swarovski crystals, his Parsons’ MFA collection (Spring / Summer 2018) calls upon beaded singlets and leotards to deliver a glittering wrestling fantasy.
It was an intimate set, no stylist (except for us), no hair and makeup team (obviously the models didn’t need that because they arrived all natural) — it was perfection. the only thing that we forgot was The wine. As you can imagine, 75% of our shoots come with a toast because we are gay and as you know we love a celebration.
Check out the behind the scenes photos below, and to see the images that made it to print, buy GAYLETTER Issue 8.
Scenes from the opening reception at Toth Gallery during NYFW.
With sustainability in mind, this is swimwear for the queer community.
Created by queer designer Daniel DuGoff, Hommes Oil Company (Homoco) is a new line of swimwear for queer people with an emphasis on body positivity, inclusivity and sustainability. While Homoco also makes tees and hats, it’s major success — and what you’ll certainly be seeing at gay beaches and alleyways everywhere — comes in the form of four-inch inseam, colorfully patterned swim-trunks.
Homoco’s colorful shorts are an ideal summer piece. They’re short enough to make you feel cute and fun, and the prints and patterns used hit the perfect mark between super clever and completely wearable. The trunks are all made from totally sustainable materials like polyester extracted from recycled water bottles, so the materials keep the environment in mind too. One pair features red and white oil cans on a blue background, another has trucks in muted reds, greens, blues and yellows, a third intertwining gas nozzles. It’s a very tasteful take on classic Americana — the branding is a cheeky reference to the gas station business DuGoff’s great-grandparents operated during the Depression called the Homes Oil Company, conveniently nicknamed Homoco. (If only they knew then what we know now!)
To learn more about the looks you’ve seen above. Don’t hesitate to click here.