Dr Shaun Cole

Profile image of Course Director, MA History and Culture of Fashion and MA Fashion Curation

Course Director, MA History and Culture of Fashion and MA Fashion Curation

London College of Fashion


Shaun Cole is a writer, lecturer and curator, and currently Course Leader for Masters degrees in History and Culture of Fashion and Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion. He was formerly Head of Contemporary Programmes at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he curated several exhibitions, most notably Graphic Responses to AIDS (1996), Dressing the Male (1999) and Black British Style (2004).

He is a trustee of the Costume Society UK and associate editor of the journal Fashion Style and Popular Culture. Shaun Cole has also written and lectured on the subject of menswear and gay fashion and his publications include ‘Don We Now Our Gay Apparel’: Gay Men’s Dress in the Twentieth Century (2000), Dialogue: Relationships in Graphic Design (2005) and The Story of Men's Underwear (2010).

Research interests

Cultural Studies, Fashion Studies, Men's Fashion, Gay/Queer Fashion and Style, Subcultural Dress.

Research statement

My recent research has been specifically interested in issues of sexuality, identity and the clothed male body. I have a continuing interest in the relationship between masculinity and sexual orientation and its expression through dress, fashion and the managed appearance. I am continuing to develop explorations into the role of dress within the formation and expression of gay male identities, initially explored in Don We Now Our Gay Apparel (2000), particularly in the twenty-first century and outside of an Anglo-American framework. I have recently been exploring the representation of tropes of masculinity and use of clothing items in gay pornography.

Continuing with my investigations into the history of men’s underwear in terms of production, consumption and representation manifested in The Story of Men’s Underwear (2010), I have been specifically looking at the changing presentation of the (unclothed) make body and the language used underwear advertising.


Tim Arrowsmith, A biography of black leather and motorcycle practice in post-War British subculture.

Mario Roman, Styling Blokes and Bros; Representations of Fashion, Masculinities and the Nation in Contemporary Photo-spreads of American and British GQ Magazines.

Siri Lindholm, The 'Lolita Excuse': Girl-children, representation and sexualisation. 

Selected research outputs