I worked in a very ephemeral medium — paper and illustration board. MW: You eventually moved into academia, first the Corcoran, then Parsons School of Design in New York, where you are credited for overhauling the entire fashion department. The program was suffering from atrophy and the curriculum had barely changed in 50 years. So it was decided to send me in to offer up a curricular prescription that would be implemented in the fall of It ended up being a tremendous labor of love.
It was hugely daunting and hugely unsettling in many ways, but what kept me focused and kept me on a straight and narrow line were the students. GUNN: Oh, it does, absolutely.
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And one of the things you can trust about it is that it always changes. The reason it always changes is because real fashion — not just clothing but fashion — happens in a context. And what the department of fashion design was at Parsons was not a fashion program.
It was a dressmaking school. There was no real design dialogue. GUNN: There was a little buzz in the industry about how this awful thing was happening, this reality show about fashion designers. I was a little haughty and I said that I felt what they wanted to do sounded terrible and that the industry was in enough trouble without a reality show. I really like them. I like what they stand for. Given the seriousness with which I take this industry, I thought I would really love to do this show with them.
We worked together for six months talking about the characteristics the designers should have and the qualities they should bring to the table. And the one single debate that we had, had to do with whether or not the designers should sew. Otherwise, it would have stripped the show of much of its drama. MW: Your presence on the show is very authoritative, yet very encouraging to the contestants.
I know that someone by definition will be [voted] out, but I want all of them to have the opportunity to succeed. Sometimes my words are a little strong and a little harsh. But faulty execution is another matter. The level of designers on the show is at an even higher level than before. I love my role. I just love being with the designers. I love the interaction, I love getting close to them, love understanding them well.
How did you feel about taking center stage? GUNN: Terrified, to be honest. You feel really exposed. Are they going to be interested in the underwear drawer?
Are they going to be interested in how we shop? Will the viewer watch and come back? So I was living with a lot of concerns about that. GUNN: It is extraordinary. Are you enjoying that change? Coming from outside has a distinct advantage in many, many cases. On that theme, is it stereotypical to observe that the fashion industry is among the most welcoming of industries to gay people? GUNN: I find the fashion industry to be nothing if not gay-friendly. And I will be really blunt: I make an assumption about men in the fashion industry that they are gay until proven otherwise.
And there are tons of heterosexual men at Liz Claiborne and there are tons of gay men and we all get along beautifully. If I know that the person is heterosexual, I shake their hand. Was I closeted? Did people assume I was gay?
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Did I ever talk to my students about it? Not within a classroom setting. I think that really is the loveliest, most flattering thing in the world I could possibly hear. I take it very seriously. So either Londoners are very gay, or very horny. Probably both…. London has had a rich queer history, with gay bars existing in the city as far back as the s! The longest-running lesbian nightclub in the world was located here, known as The Gateways Club.
A sprawling city filled with so many different pockets of culture, the English capital is a dream for all queer people looking to find a place where they belong. Fans of musical theatre will fall in love with the West End, with no shortage of gay musicals and shows to see. With gay bars like GAY which is where we first met back in Feb welcoming a host of celebrities and performers, to lowkey bars like Admiral Duncan , where you can just chill and have a drink.
Plus, it's home to some of the fiercest drag queens in the world! There are the campy queens who encourage you to sing your heart out at the Karaoke Hole and then there are the stunningly beautiful glamazons, who can vogue the house down. Read more in our guide to the best drag clubs in London. And of course, we proud Londoners argue that our Pride in London rivals Madrid's as one of the best Pride events in the world!
While Madrid gets all the attention for having the biggest Pride festival in Europe, Barcelona still holds its own as a truly great gay city. Activists famously threw the city into turmoil when they took to the streets in the s, demanding their rights to be granted and their voices to be heard. The Gaixample gay neighbourhood of Barcelona pronounced gay-shample is where you'll find all the best gay bars, clubs, shops, hotels, saunas and more. Some of our favourite gay bars here include Moeem , Punto and La Chappelle. In terms of gay clubs, we loved Arena , Metro , and the Black Room.
There are even gay cafes and restaurants here like Priscilla , Botanic and Patio Central. Plus, the proximity to a great beach makes all the difference. With golden sands, gentle blue waters, and never-ending sunshine, we love nothing more than laying back on the awesome Mar Bella beach after a long day of sightseeing. Barcelona is also close to one of our favourite gay resort towns: Sitges!
We love the gay scene of this small compact place and of course the super-chilled clothing-optional gay beaches like Balmins and Playa del Muerto. The Netherlands is a world leader with LGBTQ rights , becoming the first country in the world to legalise gay marriage back in We never once felt odd about walking the streets of Amsterdam holding hands. We always manage to find something new and exciting whenever we visit. With pumping loud music, drag performers, and super glam decor, you can party the night away in all your royal fantasies.
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Alternatively, you can mozy on over to Prik bar for a fruity cocktail, sitting in the cool, evening breeze outside weather permitting of course. Amsterdam is also home to one of the most unique Pride events in the world, which takes place on the water! Sure, other cities might have street parties or epic beach fiestas, but Amsterdam sees members of the community hop on board the boats and sail on down through the canals.
That is how you outdo your neighbours, rainbow style! Amsterdam Pride usually takes place during the last week of July and definitely one not to miss! Read more in our comprehensive guide to Amsterdam for gay travellers. Brighton may not necessarily spring to mind, but it absolutely should! Silent but deadly, Brighton is a city that harbours a vast LGBTQ community, a fun gay scene and amazing support from its straight residents.
It holds one of the most exciting Pride festivals in the UK with over , attendees and featuring headliners like Kylie and Britney. Brighton started to become a well-beloved area by the gays in the late 19th century when men from all over the country would come down to the seaside town to meet soldiers who were stationed there. This led to a diverse mix of people congregating in one place, turning Brighton into a melting pot of different cultures. James Street. We love The Queen Arms — a bright purple building with rainbows plastered on the inside of all the windows.
Drag artists here don't hold back. They're brash, cut-throat and will read someone to filth; if you arrive here with any kind of nuisances about yourself, then you best pack up your bags asap! All jokes aside, this is one gay city we love to pieces. Despite the strong influence of the Catholic Church, the queer community of Portugal is widely embraced in society and are afforded almost all the same rights as their straight counterparts.
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We spent a day with a group exploring the city, learning about the gay history of Lisbon. We learnt about central figures on the scene who spearheaded the LGBTQ rights movement and transformed Lisbon into the open and accepting city that it is today. The bulk of the gay scene can be found along R. Even as a kid, and all throughout his brilliant career, what was it that beguiled us so about his artistry? It was his sexy, tuneful, hopeful and heartfelt entreatments to love and be loved.
His passion, anxiety or yearning in performance, is a poignant enunciation of all our mixed emotions too.
Real and palpable, even across the airways, these feelings are hardly liable to of been successfully sublimated in mere song and dance. Even though every indicator suggested Jackson 'was not the marrying kind,' he entered into, not one, but two old-fashioned 'gay marriages', replete with children, reportedly conceived in the conventional way.
So insidious and threatening was his fear of family and fans imagining that he was gay, that Jackson helped to perpetuate the very stigma that would curse his chances of enjoying real happiness. It's a dreadful thing , these supposedly religious derived attitudes, that make most gays and blacks have to eventually come to terms with self-loathing. How dire are the unintended consequences of bigotry whatever the source. Despising who you are is a disease that has impacted many others besides Michael Jackson.
It's all bound up in the same issue of avoidance and intolerance that have helped to doom all African Americans, irrespective of sexuality, to innumerable unwarranted stresses and the fastest growing incidence of AIDS in the nation. News U.