Why are gay men in charge of female fashion? question has puzzled me ever since I was old enough to notice it. Virtually every international fashion label is fronted by a man. A gay man. John Galliano, Tom Ford (left on the cover of Vanity Fair with Keira Knightly and Scarlett Johannsen), Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Narciso Rodriguez? All gay.

Their predessessors like Yves Saint Laurant, Gianna Versace, Christian Dior and Calvin Klein…..CONTINUED>>


Also gay. Nothing wrong with gay. I like gay a lot. A whole lot. But is The Female Body high on the list of Things Gay Men Are Experts On? No it is not. It's really really not.

So then WHY OH WHY do gay men seem to be exclusively in charge of dressing us? You may THINK this doesn't affect you and me because we don't buy Chanel and Dior and Marc Jacobs. But the designers for those labels are the ones who dictate the trend that then filters down to Sportsgirl and Target and everywhere that regular women like us actually shop.

Reading the outstanding mag industry blog Girl With A Satchel this week, I came across her excerpt of an essay by an Irish journalist on the same subject.

In The Independent newspaper, he pulls no punches:

Almost no designers of women's clothes are women. Most are either homosexuals, such as Yves
St Laurent
, Christian
or Gianni
, or more ambiguous… such as
Gaultier, Lagerfeld and Valentino. Hardly any designers for women are simply
straightforward heterosexual men.
and Paul
clearly love women as they are. Which is why their clothes
celebrate women's carnality, their sexuality and the sheer exuberant
bodiness of the female form.

This cannot be said of gay designerdom: Versace, St Laurent, Dior, or of their peers. Together, they have redesigned the female body to suit
their own demented needs — and what do
you know: she looks just like a teenage boy.

ADVERTISEMENT this process is conscious or unconscious is really irrelevant. At its
heart have toiled a tiny minority of homosexual alpha-males for the past 40
years. And the ideal young woman of
this demented ethos is a waif, an asexual, unbreasted, libido-free
hermaphroditic elf.

Men who love women have been excluded from the process of dressing them, while
the high queens of high culture impose their terrible visions
upon a strangely obedient female sex. And puzzle heaps upon puzzle here. For
these gay designers do not represent the attitudes of most gay men, who are
usually very sympathetic to women. And there is no equivalent in the
opposite direction, no prospect of men meekly obeying the ruinous
fashion-edicts of lesbian designers, and their she-chums.

So true. I don't see a lot of lesbians dictating how straight men should look in clothes. There are SO FEW WOMEN and even fewer straight men who are designing clothes for women at the helm
of these design houses and this is an insidious tragedy for the rest of
us and this is why:
The only female bodies most gay men have seen up close are the
they cast in their catwalk shows. Models who – CO-INCIDENTALLY – have
the bodies of young boys.

And we wonder why our body image is so screwed up by the fashion industry?


00:00 / ???