Category Archives: STYLE


It has just been announced that Karl Lagerfeld, the iconic German fashion designer, has died. He was a colourful character whose creative vision turned around the fate of fashion house Chanel.

I first became intrigued with Karl when reading a book about his life and the life of another iconic designer, Yves Saint Laurent, during the 1970’s in Paris. ‘The beautiful fall‘ is a story about excess, gay lovers, celebrities and the overall fabulousness of Parisienne living. Many of the people who orbited around Yves and Karl died very young while both designers managed to live long and fruitful lives. They were the heads of rival fashion social groups but shared the fashion spotlight along with sharing friends and gay lovers. The book is a fascinating peek into a time of overt excess and into the celebrity and fashion worlds that were once off limits and existed only behind closed doors and in the clubs of Paris.

While Karl rarely discussed his sexuality, with many asking the question “Is Karl Lagerfeld gay?”, this book gives a glimpse into the relationships of the famous gay designer.

Karl died in Paris on the 19th February after a period of ill health. He had missed two of Chanel’s haute couture shows in Paris on January 22, but the fashion company only said at the time he was feeling tired.

RIP Karl.

In 1950s Paris, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld were friends, the rising stars of the fashion world. But by the late sixties, the city was invaded by a new mood of liberation and hedonism, and dominated by intrigue, infidelities, addiction and parties. Each designer created his own mesmerizing world, so vivid and seductive that people were drawn to the power, charisma and fame, and it was to make them bitter rivals. “The Beautiful Fall” is a dazzling expose of an era and the story of the two men who were its essence and who remain its most singular survivors. Buy it here.

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It’s not hard to find pictures on Instagram of half naked hotties from around the world. Instagram seem to have become the go-to place for gay guys trying to make it as an ‘influencer’. I’m not quite sure why so many gay guys feel it’s necessary to up their following by posting images of themselves in positions that are boarderline pornogrpahic but there does seem to be a precedent that has been set as to what attracts the most likes. Perhaps it’s done in the hope of receiving free undies or a small percentage of sales from the use of a personalised discount code on a website that most people will probably only visit once? Perhaps it’s done for validation? What I do understand though is that posting scantily pictures of oneself can be a lucrative business for an elite few. For most of us however, all we can really hope for is our 3-seconds of Insta-fame as a featured post on one of the many ‘Hot Guys of Instagram’ accounts. All those thirsty pictures end up blending into one another and it’s hard to tell apart one bulge from another. That’s why it’s so refreshing to find an account like Portis Wasp, where one can receive their daily hit of hot dude and art simultaneously.

Portis Wasp is a Scottish artist and writer who takes sexy fashion images and overlays them with poppy illustrations, usually with a Disney theme. The result is a collage that is equal parts sexy, arty and witty. Wasp uses his Instagram stories to showcase his ‘Moodboards’ – a mix of anime, violence, pop culture references, porn and fashion imagery. His images of male models beautifully blends the most alluring facets of homosexuality, sex, lust, campness, beauty and youth while his collages of celebrities both male and female show familiar faces in a truly unique way.

In a time when images of one’s sexuality have become homogenised, it’s nice to know that there’s someone out there with a different perspective who is reinventing the way we portray images of hot dudes.

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All images by Portis Wasp


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men fashion blog

A wallet, a man purse, a murse, a man clutch, a mutch – call it what you will but these accessories from Comme des Garcons are amongst my most favourite accessories ever created. Large enough to fit cash, cards and house keys, they are the perfect hold-all for the modern man. My first Comme des Garcons wallet was a gift from my sister and so vital was it to my day-to-day life, that I wore through the leather and had to replace it recently with an updated version. Reasonably priced around the £60 mark they are a luxury leather good which won’t blow your budget.

Shop the collection here.

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My wardrobe mainly consists of clothes in the shades of black, grey and white. When I’m feeling particularly adventurous then I may wear an all blue ensemble. It’s been fun to experiment with clothes while growing up but as I have gotten older and learnt what looks best for my skin and body type, I’ve settled on a style that works best for me which I update seasonally.

Black, white and grey may sound very boring but I like to accent this minimalist look with a striking sneaker or shoe. I’ve always been jealous of girls because girls can wear a simple jeans and t-shirt combo with a killer pair of heels and they’ll look a million dollars. Boys on the other hand don’t have the luxury of upgrading an outfit from casual to chic just by throwing on a different pair of shoes.

When it comes to the perfect signature sneaker, I always find myself lusting over a new edition of Nike. Right now I am absolutely loving my brand new pair of Nike Roshe One NM in black and white polka dots. These epic sneakers come in four different colourways and it’s my dream to have them all. Put together with a skinny black trouser, oversized black t-shirt and leather jacket, the Nike Roshe One NMs command attention so be warned that they aren’t for the stylistically shy.

Before I fell head over heels (yay, puns!) for my polka dot puppies, my previous affair was with a subtle, yet equally impactful pair of Roshe One Flyknit Premium in a delicious olive green. I was so attached to these sneakers that I was afraid to wear them out of the house for fear of ruining the crisp white midsole. Two month prior I also purchased them in grey.

Whoever said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, clearly never bought him a pair of Nikes. The way to my heart is through my feet. Honestly, I can wear the same clothes for the rest of my life but as long as I have a fresh pair of Nikes every few months then I’ll be a happy lad.

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naked man bath sexy gay boySundays are for long baths, sleeping in and spending the day lounging around the house (shirtless or in your Sunday best), just like Nick Steele in this 2013 shoot by Tony Duran.

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A few years ago I was recommended a book entitled The Beautiful Fall, a true story about the fabulous Parisian fashion world of the 1970’s and two of its most influential characters, Yves Saint Laurent and Karl Lagerfeld. The book is a captivating look into the interwoven lives of Yves and Karl during that time and recounts tales of parties, drugs, sex, exotic travels, infedelities and feuds between the two designers. Yves and Karl shared similar friends and even gay lovers, albeit not willingly, and were surrounded by the most beautiful and famous people in the world. Each designer created his own mesmerizing universe, so vivid and seductive that people were drawn to the power, charisma and fame, but in the end it was to make them bitter rivals. Their stories created a yearning within me for a time gone by when the fashion world was simultaneously bohemian and excessive, where celebrities and fashionistas weren’t overexposed through continuously updated media channels and where careless youthfulness was embraced and exploited. The author of the book, Alicia Drake eloquently takes the reader from Paris to Marrakech, from the beds of Yves and Karl to the restaurants of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, while respectably and affectionately sharing with us the lives of two of the world’s most famous fashion designers.

Click the link to see more details about The Beautiful Fall: Fashion, Genius and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris

Now a new biopic called Saint Laurent has been made about Yves’s life during the period of 1967 to 1976 when the designer was at the height of his career. Nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival and directed by Bertrand Bernello, the film is scheduled for release on May 8th.

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Gay Face Mask Montagne Jeunesse

It’s been a manic week. As the year winds down, the party season winds up and all those late nights and boozy parties begin to take their toll. You’re tired and worn down but you keep pushing on, knowing that 2014 has almost come to a close. You tell yourself that if you can just make it through to December 31st then come the new year, you’ll be much kinder to yourself. Perhaps you’ll give up sugar or maybe it’s alcohol that is your vice and you’ll definitely aim to have more than five hours sleep a night. Until the clock strikes 12 in less than two weeks, you have free rein to do as you wish. Drink, eat and be merry but if you’re starting to look a little worse for wear (as I was this morning) then you might want to take a couple of minutes to yourself to indulge in some in-home pampering.

My idea of pampering is running a bath filled with Radox, making myself a soothing green tea, trimming my facial hear and putting on a Montagne Jeunesse face mask. There really is something luxurious about sitting in the bathtub, face masked, sipping tea and reflecting on the week that’s past. Today I used the Dirt and Grime Clean Face Masque that Montagne Jeunesse sent me from their men’s range and then tried the Blackhead Blitzer, which may have made me look like a fabulous Hannibal Lecter but left my face feeling wonderfully rejuvenated. I finished off with the Eye Rescue patches which use mineral rich sea algae to reduce puffiness and at £1.99 a pair are much more affordable than having to travel to a spa at an algae-rich tropical island resort for the same treatment. Thirty minutes later I was out of the bath, body feeling pruney but face as a fresh as an angel, ready to tackle the last days before Christmas and the inevitable food coma that awaits me on the 25th.

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If you instantly want to look like a sophisticated gay man with style and panache then put on a tie. If you instantly want to look like a dishevelled gay man who has no fashion sense then put on a tie wrong. Adorning a tie with a suitable outfit will up your fashion credibility and distinguish you from all those other gay men who still insist on dressing like teenagers. However, for many of us, it’s been years since we last tied a tie and it was most probably for high school or another formal occasion that we were reluctantly forced to attend. Back then the tie felt more like a noose than a fashion accessory, restricting breathing and cutting off circulation to one’s brain by strangling one’s neck like a bower constrictor. Now that you’re a grown man it’s time to learn how to fasten a tie properly.

Although it may seem as if you need an engineering degree to effectively adorn this elongated piece of material, it’s actually a lot simpler than you think. Elegant London establishment, Draycott Hotel has made it easy for you to do so with this 6 step infographic on how to tie a tie. Now there is no excuse for you not to look like a gay gentleman who has stepped out of the Ted Baker Autumn/Winter 2014 catalogue.


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While we’re still some time away from crowning the champions of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the results for best-dressed team have been calculated. And the winner is Italy. There’s no doubt that Italians are renowned for their style, so it only makes sense that their representative football team would be dressed by none other than luxury Italian fashion house Dolce and Gabbana. Having sponsored the Italian football team since 2006, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have created a complete wardrobe for the 2014 team that includes a tailored formal look, a casual look and a travel set.

Here are a selection of pictures of the 2014 Italian team as well as previous Dolce and Gabbana underwear campaigns that featured famous Italian soccer players.

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   Barrett Pall Modern Gay

We are constantly bombarded with images of male beauty. From Instagram to advertising to gay media, we as gay men are exposed daily to other men who boarder on aesthetic perfection. Rarely do we have the opportunity to see behind the picture, to meet the men who make us swoon. Model, trainer and entrepreneur Barrett Pall is trying to change that. Through his blog Artisan & King, Barrett give us a glimpse behind the lens in the hope of inspiring young gay men to live their truth. His open and honest posts which discuss his vulnerabilities and insecurities, allow readers to see underneath the underwear and past the 13,000 Instagram followers into the life of a normal guy who, like the rest of us, is trying to make sense of the world. Barrett uses his increasing public profile to share his experiences, proving that social media platforms can be used as a means to uplift and inspire others. After scrolling through Barrett’s writing you become aware that even those who are aesthetically blessed and living the so-called “glamorous life” have to deal with the same issues as most other 20-something year old gay guys.

In this candid Q&A with The Modern Gay Barrett discusses his sexuality, safe-sex and the challenges facing young gay men in 2014.


Originally, Artisan & King was supposed to be a lifestyle and fashion blog that had both a men’s and women’s section. I would be the men’s counterpart to my best friends female side, who I share my blog with. We saw that there really wasn’t a guy/girl duo and we wanted to fill that void. However, as we were launching, I moved back to NYC in the middle of a break up, enduring my first winter in three years, and just feeling really down. I started writing to get my feelings out of my head, and try to rediscover my positivity, which felt lost in my move back to NYC.


My role models would have to be a couple I met a few years ago that have taken me under their wings. Alfredo Paredes and Brad Goldfarb are a gay couple who are extremely successful in every way. Alfredo is Ralph Lauren’s right hand man, and Brad is an extremely accomplished writer. They met when they were 25 and have been together for 25 years now. They are both wildly successful in their careers, and have remembered to give back, stay grounded, and show kindness to all those they meet. They have been the mentors I so badly needed as I had never really had a vision of what I wanted my life to be until I met them. They’ve showed me a life I never knew I wanted, and now the greatest thing I can dream of would be to end up just like them. To top it off they recently had their first child, and have been the greatest dads from day one. I can truly say I love these guys like family.


I don’t think enough of my generation practices safe-sex. With apps like Grindr, Scruff, and a new one popping up every day the possibility to engage in random sex is so high and easy that sex has become just another activity like brushing your teeth. I think that there needs to me much more care and thought put in when deciding who you are going to take your clothes off with.

I don’t think enough of my generation understand the gravity that things like AIDS and HIV still have today. There seems to be this false sense of security because we have figured out ways to deal with these scary sexually transmitted diseases and infections. Most of my generation wasn’t around, and doesn’t remember the horrific events that took place in the 80’s, and because of that I feel too many young gay men are naive to the real effects these diseases and infections can have.

I also don’t think we as a gay community are as banned together as we possibly used to be because we don’t necessarily have to be. Being gay is becoming more and more accepted, so we don’t feel the brotherhood our community once so strongly held. We are able to mingle in so many different arenas that the bubble has burst in some ways, and gotten smaller in others. I wish more young gay men took time to learn about our history, and make connections with older generations to really grasp how important it is to have safe-sex and see the progress we’ve made, and need to continue to make. Again, these are simply my own opinions.


Community to me means a coming together of diverse people to create a collective unity of positive thinking, changing negative actions and not only realizing a better future, but making one.


I have learned that modeling cannot be your main focus when you are a model. I have three other jobs that I put majority of my effort into. I rarely hang out with other people in the industry, and I try to remind myself that I am more than my shell.

If you allocate all your time to being a model, the industry will consume you. Your self-esteem falls low because you are constantly comparing your looks to the most beautiful people in the world, and no matter how beautiful you are, it gets to you because we all have insecurities. I have learned to be open about this as to not fall victim to the constant scrutiny and rejection. For every “yes” you hear, there are probably 50-100 “no’s.”

Barrett Pall Gay Guide


I hope that people see an image of me and are inspired to get up and change their negative patterns. I have worked very hard for the body I have, and I am proud of it, but it is important to remember that it has been 18 years of hard work. I didn’t just wake up one day and look the way I look. I am also a trainer at Barry’s Bootcamp NYC, and I love being able to help others help themselves. I am aware that we live in a world where sex sells, and if a picture of my body introduces you to my other passions like my blog, my training, or a new health food I am working on than so be it. I look at modeling as my introduction to the rest of my story. This is my one page cover to a very long novel.


I know my answer isn’t going to be super popular, but in some ways I think it has made my experience slightly harder. I think it is important to remember the grass is always greener, and while I am thankful for my genetics because they have opened many doors, there have been many times that my looks have made things harder in ways many people at first don’t understand. Many people just see my exterior and think because of the way I look, and the pictures I am in for part of my career that I am going to be someone they can just hop into the sack with. Hearing the word sexy and my name in the same sentence is so funny to me because I do not see myself in that light. In my head, I am still a skinny kid with glasses, braces and trying to figure out my role in this world. I am someone that loves love, thinks relationships are beautiful, and wants to find my special someone. We all have moments when our sexual urges are strong, but empty sex ends up leaving you feeling even emptier than before. I’ve been welcomed into circles because of the way I look, but at the end of the day I feel most at home with my college friends, most of who are straight.


The hardest part for me was simply allowing myself to understand that all the negative connotations I had had with being gay were falsities embedded in my head from people, who were uneducated, unhappy and confused themselves. Once I was able to simply be who I wanted to be, being gay was not scary, it was amazing. I have said this before, but coming out of the closet is such a freeing experience, and there are so many wonderful people waiting for you with open arms. You may not know them yet, but they are the people who teach you what family truly means.


Being outside under the sun, by a body of water with my loved ones. Having the wind blow, and knowing that my loved ones and I are profoundly ok.


I have, for a long time had a laundry list of things I wish I could change about myself, from my nose to my height to my outty bellybutton. However, as I’ve gotten older I have learned that these things are all part of me, and in some ways have shaped me. I have had to work that much harder with gaining success in modeling because I technically shouldn’t be a model. My nose adds character, and is the result of three good stories of being broken. My bellybutton is the lifeline that connected me to my mother. I am learning to love every part of myself outwardly because in the end, it is what is inside that counts most, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t mind being bumped up to 6’2.


I actually wrote a letter to my younger self (read it here). I was going through my journal, which I have kept since I was 12, and I came across countless entries of being sad and feeling broken by others hurtful words. My advice was to stay true to yourself. Know that it not only gets better, but it gets beyond amazing. Be kind to yourself. Love everyday the way you have always tried to do. Swimming takes you farther than you can imagine, so while you may feel burned out, keep pushing. Keep dreaming, loving, and being light in a dark place. P.S. NYU is really really expensive.


Do it. New York City is a hard city. It will eat you up and spit you out if you let it, but if you come here and understand that your dreams require hard work, you can truly have everything you’ve every dreamed of. It is an amazing place to come and feel accepted, meet like-minded people and have fun like you’ve never had fun before. I have traveled a decent amount, lived abroad in Paris and always concluded that NYC is my favorite city in the world. Be forewarned, it is extremely expensive, and if you do not like to work, this is not your city.

Visit Barrett’s blog by clicking here.

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Images by Marco Ovando

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