- Cultural Studies
- Fashion Studies
- Men's Fashion
- Gay and Queer Fashion and Style
- Subcultural Dress
External roles and responsibilities
Shaun Cole is Associate Professor in Fashion at Winchester School of Art, with research interests in sexuality and dressed appearance, teaching history of fashion and dress, theory, context across a number of fashion courses.
Shaun’s research examines the dressed male body and the ways in which the sexual subject can be understood as historically and spatially contingent and formed in relation to terms of gender, class and ethnicity. The relationship between masculinity and sexual orientation and its expression through dress, fashion and the managed appearance, initially explored in his groundbreaking monograph Don We Now Our Gay Apparel: Gay Men’s Dress in the Twentieth Century (2000) continues to form an underlying interest for Shaun’s research. The Story of Men’s Underwear (2010) was an historical survey that explored the relationship between relationship between design, manufacture and material culture in relation to the covering of the male body. Shaun has lectured and spoken widely on television and radio about sexuality, masculinities and representation in visual and popular culture.
Formerly Associate Dean of Postgraduate Communities at London College of Fashion, Shaun was also course leader for Masters course in History and Culture of Fashion and Fashion Curation. He has been visiting lecturer at University of Stockholm, University of Tuurku, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, University of Technology, Sydney, Nottingham Trent University, University of Brighton, Middlesex University and University of the Arts London as well as Kiasma Museum of Contemporary At, Helsinki, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (Powerhouse), and Sydney, Victoria. Following a career as a curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, where he curated numerous exhibitions including Graphic Responses to AIDS (1996), Dressing the Male (1999) and Black British Style (2004) and teaching on the prestigious MA Fashion Curation course at London College of Fashion, Shaun co-curated the exhibition Dandy Style looking at men's historic and contemporary fashion at Manchester Art Gallery.
Shaun has recently co-edited the book Dandy Style: 250 Years of British Men's Fashion (2021), which accompanies the Dandy Style exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery (8 October 2022- 1 May 2023) and to which he contributed two chapters. He has also written written essays for Fashioning Masculinities (V&A Publishing 2022), Queer (National Gallery of Victoria 2022), Fashion Stylists: History, Meaning and Practice (Bloomsbury 2020) and Fashion Curating: Critical Practice in the Museum and Beyond (Bloomsbury 2017). His new book Gay Men's Style: Fashio, Dress and Sexuality is due for publication in Septrmber 2023.
He is on the editorial board for the journals Costume, Critical Studies in Men’s Fashion and Fashion Studies. He was Vice Chair of Costume Society UK 2015-2019.