What the Frock: Grayson Perry

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Our panelists on the latest and greatest celebrity looks

Artist Grayson Perry, as Claire, wearing bespoke at the Bafta TV awards in London

Jonny Woo, performance artist
Lady Perry does it again, crossing a gothic succubus with the woman from 'The Scottish Widows' ad and a Pearly Queen. More suitable to have an penis squirting its seed over one's décolletage in this look than his usual little girl couture. If I was going to be picky, I'd rather have opted for a sweeping side fringe rather than mini east London bangs. He looks happy though.

Harriet Walker, news editor at Never Underdressed
I almost whooped with glee when I saw that Grayson Perry had worn this to the Baftas, as his female incarnation Claire. I wrote a piece about the making of this duchesse satin opera cape and dress, which was created in 2011 by second-year St Martins student Morgan Levy for a project that Perry works on with the school every year. I'm glad to see that the delight with which Perry took in this gown when he first saw it ('oh look it's covered in exploding thingummies!') remains undiminished.

Judith Watt, fashion historian at Central Saint Martins
As an artist, Grayson Perry’s cross-dressing is never about fashion but it IS about dressing up in the fine tradition of costume. His looks are always timeless and this one follows in the fine tradition of Hollywood’s golden age. For me, the hair and makeup is pure Claudette Colbert as Cleopatra, costumed by Travis Banton in 1934. Yet there is a touch of Dietrich – Banton again – dressed in nun drag in The Devil is a Woman, Josef von Sternberg’s masterpiece of 1935. He’s equally transgressive here – in black evening coat cut high on the sleeves with glossy black gloves revealing those meaty masculine arms, yet the embroidery depicting an ejaculating penis is denuded of its shock value – frankly, it’s far too decorative, too pretty to be challenging. In the light of the outfits worn at the punk-themed Met Ball in New York last week however it is a masterpiece of  originality.

(left to right: Jonny Woo, Harriet Walker, Judith Watt)

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