Almond, Kevin (2012) Masquerade in Clubland. In: Music Fashion and Fantasy. Costume Society Study Day, 20th October 2012, London College of Fashion. (Unpublished)

In this article, I examine social performances framed in photographs of the diverse, glamorous, and camp world of night clubbers, particularly those at Suzy Mason’s nightclubs in England. The cross gender dressing clubbers include a diversity of drag queens and others who play with gender boundaries and camp within a safe environment of the club. My investigation of masquerade and glamour in their self-presentations concerns notions of what constitutes the self and how the self is visually presented. My analysis contrasts the alluring persona presented in a club environment with the stigmas associated with the marginalized persona presented in everyday life. The club-goers’ glamorous veneer often masks the suffering they endure in their day-to-day lives. Following Judith Butler’s (1990) theory of gender, I explored the idea that the presentation of the gendered self is essentially a social performance constructed to communicate a physical and sartorial message.

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