What do former British Prime Minister Theresa May, Grayson Perry and Barbie have in common? They are all fifty-plus role models who like to play dress-up. The most extravagant of the three by far is artist Grayson Perry, known for his provocatively delightful art and, particularly within the fashion milieu, for his playful dress sense, ranging from clown suits to Little Bo Peep dresses.
“The little girl look is like the crack cocaine of femininity,” laughs Grayson as he clumps through the doors of Central Saint Martins in his size 10 Mary-Janes. It’s his way of breaking the ice in a room full of nervous students. The transvestite artist fans out in his petticoat and clears his throat, “I wore my school uniform today.” That’s entirely appropriate as Grayson has come to college for the first of many meetings with the BA Fashion students. Their next project: to make his new season’s wardrobe.
Grayson, the Chancellor of University of the Arts London (which includes Central Saint Martins), stands before the students with a wide smile, tips his boater and taps his ‘Naughty Boys’ school badge. Now he has the whole room laughing along with him. Welcome to the Grayson Perry show.