Toronto
3 min

The next fashion trend

Fashion itself has become so fashionable

Credit: Xtra files

I met up with my old friend, Plumba, for drinks last night. I wasn’t keen on spending time with her, with her weird and gruelling gift of retroactive prophecy. Last time we hung out, in 2003, she warned me about the impending horror of Sep 11, 2001, but also reassured me that the damage would be minimal because the World Trade Center hadn’t been built yet.



I walked into the dank tavern she had picked for our reunion. I couldn’t see her. I looked high, amid the grey pancakes fused to the ceiling. I looked low, amid the ragged hemlines, fecal mounds and pools of bloody vomit on the floor. Where was my unbearable old friend?



“Greg! Greg!” said a radiant Agnetha Fältskog doppelganger in fur baby dolls. It was Plumba! Gone was the frayed babushka, ravaged visage and the grave novelty T-shirts with slogans like “Gasping, Premature Baby On Board.” My old friend was a new woman.



She twirled and juggled imaginary pomegranates, caught up in the pantomime of showy vitality. “I’m so happy. I had a makeover and I’m soaring! It doesn’t matter that I’ve driven all my lovers to suicide or that my apartment smells like diseased vagina! My hair’s dreamy! When I ride the Go Train, I’m so elated to be alive that I keep saying ‘Go! Go!’ aloud until everyone starts saying it, and soon the air is filled with more go go’s than a Belinda Carlisle fan club convention. I’m like a virus of goodwill ever since my makeover!”



As I listened to Plumba talk about the contentment that came with getting her colours done (“I’m what they call a ‘nuclear winter.’ That means I look best wearing tin foil and screaming”), I began to consider my own, long-neglected appearance. Could it be that my bedraggled, at home with Lon Chaney sartorial sense was the reason I’d been feeling like an also-ran?



Plumba certainly thought so. She put a manicured hand on my shoulder and said, “You look like hell. If we didn’t already have a relationship I’d have to date you so you’d commit suicide. It’s time to revise! You’re not getting any younger – and we’re not getting any table service because you’re so ugly and passĂ©!”



Plumba’s words rang true. I haven’t updated my image for a coon’s age. The handlebar moustache, the tight pants emphasizing my mammoth penis and fragrantly asymmetrical testicles, the ballerina flats with Chinese embroidery: it’s a look that might prove winsome in a Third World prison camp, but on Church St, all it gets me are directions to Covenant House and, from lesbians, an emphatic, “I like May Sarton’s end-of-life diaries, too! Come-on-a my house!”



It seems to me that most gay men are in a state of flux when it comes to their visual shtick. With the unctuous clone look utterly co-opted by herpetic, entertainment district playboy coolios and people forced to wear restrictive mesh to minimize third degree burn-related swelling, we gays stand lost and denuded, our fashion plate all but licked clean. Queer Eye For The Straight Guy? Ha! What next? Someone’s In The Kitchen With Lara Flynn Boyle?



The only cogent queer eye, of late, is the one that watches an immaculately dressed straight guy walk quickly away from the horribly dressed owner of said eye.



In fact – and I wasn’t going to share this, given the rash of gay suicides I recently sparked by spreading the Internet rumour that Diana Ross was once quoted as saying, “More than anything, I live for smegma” – as I walked past Body Body on Church the other day, I saw one of the sales boys desperately trying to winnow his way into a patron’s shopping bag. He mouthed the words “gay fashion is a gulag of despair. ”



It moved me as much as the little girl in the red coat in Schindler’s List – another instance of the heartbreak of inappropriate casual wear.



I know I’m not the most qualified person to propose a new gay aesthetic; my fashion bible is, literally, the Bible (swaddling clothes are so au courant, it blows my mind). Still, someone has to come forward and save the bum buddy brigade from fancy pants obsolescence.



The haute gay look for ’04? The torrid uniform that will get us into all the best parties and out of jury duty? I like to call it The Kicky Dukabor.



Like the religious sect, we’ll go about the mundacities of daily life completely bare-assed. Our journal entries will sound like a first draft of Joyce’s Ulysses: “Caught my glans in an ATM slot. Still feel like Seth is somehow satirizing our intimacy. Late lunch.”



Unlike the wacky religious sect, when someone asks us why we’re nude in winter, we’ll vogue and give imperious ‘tude and do the robot and feel primal and “on the six” and know that we’re truly taking a (frost)bite out of the high life.



Fashion is fun! Now I know why Plumba’s so happy – I feel like I’ve discovered electricity. But of course, I haven’t. Plumba says that’s still a long way off.