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Winchester School of Art
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Dr Shaun Cole B.Lib (Hons), PGCert, PhD, FHEA

Associate Professor in Fashion, Co-Director of iPIC

Dr Shaun Cole's photo

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 at London College of Fashion, Shaun is currently working on an exhibition on mens historic and contemporary fashion with Manchester Art Gallery.

Shaun has recently written essays for Fashion Curating: Critical Practice in the Museum and Beyond (Bloomsbury 2017), Utopian Bodies: Fashion Looks Forward (Liljevalchs 2015), Fashioning the Body: An Intimate History of the Silhouette (Yale 2015) and Queer History of Fashion: From the Closet to the Catwalk (Yale University Press with Fashion Institute of Technology 2013). He is Associate Editor of the journal Fashion, Style and Popular Culture, 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 2015-201.  Shaun’s current research is focused on the ways in which gay men in the twenty first century negotiate their dressed appearance in relation to their sexuality, age, social class, race, ethnicity, nationality, occupation and notions of fashionability. 

Research interests

  • Cultural Studies
  • Fashion Studies
  • Men's Fashion
  • Gay and Queer Fashion and Style
  • Subcultural Dress
  • Masculinities
  • Curation
  • Oral History
  • Media representations

Research Group

Intersectionalities: politics - identities - cultures


Woodford, Steven: 'The Male Waif: A Visual and Cultural Archetype?' 

Hao, Dingkai: 'How Contemporary Social Issue Driven Fashion Film is Representing the Bodies and Body Image?

Research group

Intersectionalities: politics – identities – cultures

Affiliate research group

Winchester Luxury Research Group

Shaun is a SEDA accredited Postgraduate Research Degrees Supervisor and welcomes enquiries from students interested in exploring aspects of masculinities, gay and queer sexualities, and the dressed body or other projects relating to his research interests.

Currently Supervising

Woodford, Steven: 'The Male Waif: A Visual and Cultural Archetype?' 

Hao, Dingkai: 'How Contemporary Social Issue Driven Fashion Film is Representing the Bodies and Body Image?'

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Book Chapters


Dr Shaun Cole
Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, Park Avenue, Winchester, Hampshire. SO23 8DL United Kingdom

Room Number : 63A/A1029

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