Tuesday 22 June 2010

Sebastian Horsley and The Genuine Death of a Real Fake

   Sebastian Horsley lived and died as a Real Fake, but one should never underestimate the sincerity of a man who so gleefully flaunted his artifice in the faces of others. Indeed, when the news broke last Friday, I thought it an obvious joke on his part – “Live fast, die youngish, leave the corpse of a popinjay behind" – believing that he was far more likely to die of the STDs he’d doubtlessly been amassing over the years, perhaps cataloguing them under the names of the whores that gave them to him

   Of course, he did claim that the whores were cleaner than women of the non-streetwalking demographic

   We had two run-ins

   The second was more interesting in that I was out carousing that evening, surrounded by exquisitely crafted artwork and speaking with a few interesting people. He came to view his portrait, painted by our mutual friend Ian Bruce. Evidently feeling less than garrulous, he mentioned his pleasure with his visage and left within the opening hour, presumably to retake his place as a pink suited London boho in a Soho watering hole. I was looking for trouble that night; I should have taken his number

   The first was never catalogued because neither Style Time nor Mode Parade existed in those days, and because frankly, it’s a non-story. In early 2008, I visited Dover Street Market and found him, not totally unexpectedly, by the mirrored lift exterior on the ground floor

   Something in his eyes suggested recognition; of my face or my own penchant for reconfigured gentleman’s dress, I couldn’t say. I was wearing a black Cossack-styled coat over a plaid shirt with a club collar, a French blue silk tie, a black waistcoat with a knit back and sides, and black trousers whilst also wielding an umbrella; perhaps I resembled a personification of Death in Harlem of the 1970s or one of his junk trips

   I recognised him; that was enough to exchange “Hellos” and nods. And then he walked before I could ask if he was claiming freebies from the store; the Comme des Garçons Homme Plus collection he’d partially inspired and modelled in Paris a year prior was winding down its sale that week. But maybe he’d have not appreciated it. And yet on that day, he was wearing that same signature outfit, despite lacking the lookalikes:

   Following his performance on the catwalk, Sebastian afterwards wrote that he was fresh from a diagnosis of syphilis. Given the sexual cachet of male models, he was probably in large company. Such a man would certainly have been pleased with such likeminds

   Although I’m presently over 2000 miles away and will definitely miss it, the one man play of Horsley’s autobiography, Dandy in the Underworld, has taken the stage in London and should be seen for the curiosity, if nothing else. I understand it’s fairly naughty. But it will certainly be performed by Milo Twomey with more sincerity now than there was before

   And hopefully, my favourite door on Meard Street will remain as a mark of fond remembrance:

Sebastian Horsley, 1962 – 2010

Runway photographs: GQ


ADG said...

Funky, Alice in Wonderland looking shit. Hope all is well with you.

Barima said...

Thank you, fellow, I'm rambling on as always

I can't deny it; I like to see interesting examples of Substance Abuse Dressing every now and then. Just look at Elkann