My daughter, Caitlyn Jenner, and Laverne Cox

gendermom

As the mother of a young transgender child, my response to Caitlyn Jenner’s headline-grabbing announcement is a visceral one. Yes, I’m kind of put off by the hype. No, I’m not a big fan of celebrity culture or reality television. But when I look at the cover of Vanity Fair, and read the news articles that respectfully use Jenner’s new name and female pronouns, I’m overwhelmed by this new state of affairs, and by a world that might just be ready to accept my daughter. And that knocks me off my feet with awe and gratitude.

I called my friend Alice, a member of our support group whose trans daughter is a few years older than mine. “Did you see it?” I said. She knew what I was talking about.

“Of course,” she said. I could hear her shaking her head over the phone, as overcome as I was…

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The life of Alexander McQueen displayed on Broadway! 

Thought I would share this! Sounds AMAZING! A must see! Even if it’s an excuse to wear everything you own Alexander McQueen! 

  

Tonight, the realms of fashion and theatre combine as the curtain rises on McQueen – a play exploring the enigmatic and hauntingly visionary world of Lee McQueen. In a year that has already seen two exhibitions dedicated to his work open in London, John Caird’s production marks the first dramatised insight into his life. Here are four things that we know about it. 

  
1. The production stars British actor Stephen Wight, whose uncanny likeness to McQueen is striking. A regular of the London stage, Wight received the Evening Standard Outstanding Newcomer award in 2007, for his performances in Michael Grandage’s critically acclaimed production of Don Juan In Soho and Patrick Marber’s Dealers Choice. He takes the title role in McQueen opposite Dianna Agron – best known for her roles in hit TV series Glee and comedy-thriller The Family alongside Robert DeNiro and Michelle Pfeiffer – in her professional stage debut.
  
Picture credit: Specular

2. Set over just one night in London, James Phillips’s script merges fiction with reality to illustrate the fantastical world of McQueen. An obsessed fan (Agron) breaks into the designer’s Mayfair house to steal one of his creations and, when caught, the troubled pair embark on a whirlwind journey of fashion, parties and emotions together. The inspiration came from The Girl Who Lived In A Tree, one of McQueen’s collections, in which he imagined a waif appearing in his garden and being transformed into a princess. Nonetheless, the play explores the darker aspects of his life, touching upon the difficult relationship he had with early patron Isabella Blow, as well as his depression.

  
3. McQueen’s family are said to be supportive of the production. Phillips told the Independent that he had sent his sister, Janet, the script. “She wrote me this incredible letter about how much she loved it. I think if she’d hated it, we wouldn’t have done it. But she felt it caught something essential about his spirit.”

  
4. Unsurprisingly, the costumes have been a key focus of the West End play. Alexander McQueen would not give permission for designer’s own designs to be used, but costume designer David Farley took on the challenge of creating ensembles that would resemble, without reproducing, his masterpieces and that would be suitable for theatre. He told the BBC that he “felt that pressure of ‘I want to do him justice’, but at the same time this isn’t a catwalk show. This is a show that runs eight shows a week, so these garments have to ‘look’ catwalk but built to last and also work with the performers. And we’ve got an ensemble of dancers. So there’s that whole element to be taken into account – that they need to look fabulous, but they need to do the dance moves.”