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UAL Research Online

Camp from club to catwalk: Charles Jeffrey’s LOVERBOY and queer fashion practice

Hitchcock, Fenella and McCauley Bowstead, Jay (2019) Camp from club to catwalk: Charles Jeffrey’s LOVERBOY and queer fashion practice. In: Carry on Camping: The Politics of Subversion, 6 September 2019, University of Brighton.

Type of Research: Conference, Symposium or Workshop Item
Creators: Hitchcock, Fenella and McCauley Bowstead, Jay

This paper focuses on the collections of London based Scottish designer Charles Jeffrey who has won plaudits for his spectacular, subversive, theatrical, and highly camp catwalk shows. His label LOVERBOY – having grown out of an East London club-night of the same name – brings together eclectic historical references, with the stylistic bricolage of the queer scene from which it emerged.

Using a combination of image analysis and ethnographic interviews with the designer himself, this paper investigates how Jeffrey has blurred the boundaries between nightclub and runway, collective and named designer, menswear and womenswear, to formulate a distinctly queer mode of fashion practice. In this way, the utopic possibilities of the nightclub; the heightened emotion of the dance floor; and the embodied, affective, temporal qualities of queer sociality are transposed onto the catwalk.

Camp aesthetics and queer nightlife have played a crucial role in the history of fashion – perhaps most notably during the 1980s when designers like Bodymap, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Stephen Linard drew extensively on queer signifiers. However, the contemporary success of LOVERBOY marks a shift in contemporary cultures of gender as discourses of queerness and performativity reach a new point of amplification. After the seriousness, refinement and minimalism of millennial fashion, the liminality, polysemy, and exuberance of camp has again reasserted its transgressive potential.

Official Website: https://blogs.brighton.ac.uk/carryoncampingthepoliticsofsubversion/
Additional Information (Publicly available):

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Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed: Queer Theory, Camp
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 6 September 2019
Event Location: University of Brighton
Date Deposited: 18 May 2020 09:42
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2021 11:03
Item ID: 15668
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/15668

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