Who are you calling an old boiler? How overalls became sex on legs

It would be fair to say that I don’t really do casual. I’ve never even owned a pair of jeans, apart from when paid to do so for an article, and the whole thing felt a tad too Richard Branson.

Nevertheless, I have recently enjoyed a conversion to practical garb in the form of the world’s most modish boiler suit. No, not the £2,050 version currently on sale at Dior – or those spotted on the Yves Saint Laurent catwalk for similarly eye​-​watering amounts – but new British label Spry Workwear’s £160 take on the trend. In doing so I have joined forces with a battalion of cool girls all happy to be labelled boilers, from film star Thandie Newton to designer Alice Temperley.

Boiler suits pull you together in the blink of an eye, leaving only a few key decisions – zipped up or cleavage out, glitter heels or sneakers

Spry launched in the spring, the brainchild of 44-year-old former Telegraph Magazine columnist Daisy Bridgewater, who is based in ​East Suffolk, in a ​draughty old vicarage ten miles from the sea, that she shares with property developer husband Henry. As a working mother of boys aged 15, 13 and 11 (“the house reeks of Lynx Africa”), Daisy found herself stumped style-wise by the need to go from city living to country, power dressing to practical.

“I needed a one-stop solution,” she explains, “and boiler suits pull you together in the blink of an eye, leaving only a few key decisions – zipped up or cleavage out, glitter heels or sneakers – making them a huge time saver. They’re handy for multi​-​taskers – check me out as I feed the pigs before meeting my editor – and brilliant for women who work with their hands doing creative things, but still want to look good, without succumbing to the dread fleece.”

Moreover, in an age in which Rosie the Riveter is a role model for Beyoncé, the boiler suit has become the ultimate in power dressing. “They blur the boundaries between uniform and fashion,” Bridgewater enthuses, “and are modest, yet provocative, having the power to bring a man to his knees wondering whether you are wearing anything underneath.”

Having sported my Spry boiler in a crowded Mayfair bar, camped up with heels, straining cleavage and a jaunty Hermès scarf, I can attest to this fascination. “It’s sex on legs: truly a siren suit,” noted my partner-in-crime, begging to play with the zip, while noting that he could also spill beer on said outfit.

I sported my boiler in a crowded Mayfair bar: ‘It’s sex on legs: truly a siren suit,’ noted my partner-in-crime, begging to play with the zip

Plus, boiler suits – a​s a​ utilitarian take on the jumpsuits that have been flooding the high street for ​some time – happen to be achingly fashionable right now, from Dior’s aforementioned latest new look to Rihanna clad in Frame, Cate Blanchett in Céline.

Obviously, one could purchase a synthetic number from a hardware store, but it would be hot, bothery, and not remotely flattering. Unlike Spry’s incarnation, which is beautifully designed in cotton twill (that grows softer and ever more second-skin like with every wash) from a British factory that has been crafting workwear since the late 19th Century.

Daisy Bridgewater in her Spry boiler suit

Daisy Bridgewater in her Spry boiler suit Credit:  David Rose

Bridgewater took a pair of vintage mechanic’s overalls by way of a starting point, tweaking them for a feminine fit. Think: greater fabric volume across the shoulders to accommodate one’s bust, and a high, fabulously cinchable waist, bestowing a womanly silhouette while lengthening the legs.

Eyeing Daisy’s lithe, 5’10” proportions, I was convinced that my old-school hourglass would prove completely unboilerable. I was wrong – E-cup happily accommodated. In fact, most figures will find their suit, whether size 6 or 16. What is more, the picture I Instagrammed of myself as a Spry boiler proved my most popular post ever, legions of fashionistas immediately declaring that they would be joining Bridgewater’s girl gang.

When I tell her this she beams: “We may not have been in business long, but the punters are loving them. Thandie Newton bought one of my first. Alice Temperley has one, ditto Sharleen Spiteri. ​Cathy St Germans wore hers throughout this year’s Port Eliot festival. Rachel Johnson (sister of Boris) is a conver​t.”

Hannah Betts wearing a Spry Workwear boiler suit

‘If I do have to indulge in some Rosie the Riveter-type activity, then I need merely ditch the heels’ Credit:  Andrew Crowley

They are being snapped up in equal measure as fashion item and workwear by writers, artists, florists, potters, gardeners, actresses, designers, and general groovy chicks. Among them, Daisy’s half-sister, Emma Bridgewater, she of pottery empire fame, who doubtless dons her boiler in her capacity as president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

“Emma has been a huge creative inspiration,” says Daisy, “coming to the rescue when I have felt like giving up – like when a local accountant told me to try my hand at something else (Emma’s accountant begged her to give up too, for the brand’s first two years).”

But with workwear-inspired fashion brand MC Overalls having just opened a permanent store off London’s Carnaby Street, following a successful pop-up this summer, the trend clearly has legs. I’ll never be a jeans girl, but am fully committed to becoming a Spry woman. And, if I do have to indulge in some Rosie the Riveter-type activity, then I need merely ditch the heels.

After Porn Ends’: What 9 Porn Stars Did After Their Careers Ended

What do porn stars do when their lives in the adult film industry end? That’s the question at the heart of documentary filmmaker Bryce Wagoner’s film “After Porn Ends,” and its new follow-up, “After Porn Ends 2.” The film looks at the tragedies and successes of people who left an industry that famously uses up young talent. Some have no regrets about their years in the industry. For others, a career in the adult industry has proven to be a conduit to certain despair. Johnnie Keyes: Johnnie wasn’t the first black adult performer, but he was the first black PORN STAR. Coming from poverty he enlisted in the army and became a champion boxer. Using the GI Bill he got a drama degree and starred in Jesus Christ, Superstar. After a chance casting in Behind the Green Door, he found himself on the shores of Cannes and a cultural icon. Eventually retiring to raise his family, Johnnie is now an accomplished jazz singer and runs a youth outreach basketball camp with his son in Seattle. Lisa Ann: Starting as a stripper in Pennsylvania, Lisa used porn to further her feature dancing career and was a well known player for 15 years before the opportunity of a lifetime unfolded in front of her, the opportunity to do a parody of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. This catapulted her to porn superstardom and made her the top performer in her business for five straight years. Always the ambitious one, Lisa parlayed her media appearances into a shot at hosting her own fantasy sports radio show on Sirius XM, which has launched a whole new brand and successful book. Ginger Lynn: Simply the face of XXX in the 80’s and early 90’s, Ginger was the original “girl next door.” Starting in bikini contests and taking the advice of famed photographer Suze Randall, Ginger played the adult business by her rules, commanded the largest salary in porn, and got out exactly when she wanted to. Studying acting at the Beverly Hills Playhouse, Ginger has had major roles in Wing Commander, American Pie: Band Camp, The Devil’s Rejects, and 31. She is as much an icon in the comic-con fashioned events as she is in the adult world now. Tabitha Stevens: A Vegas Dancer who did one scene that kicked off an entire 20 year career. Tabitha holds the record for most porn star appearances on Howard Stern and became a regular on Doctor 90210. She and her husband run a fine art photography gallery in Utah. Brittany Andrews: Brittany knew that she wanted to do porn to further her own business interests. She made her own line of videos and distributed them all herself. After getting some mainstream cred by posing in Playboy Magazine, she learned to be a DJ and now plays all over the world being booked by the largest DJ agency in the USA, Skam Artists. Darren James: Darren began his path to XXX as Navy veteran from the streets of Detroit.

After trying to be in the LAPD, he was waitlisted due to budget cuts. Starving and not knowing where his next job was coming from, he tried porn and became a prolific performer. But after taking a big contract in Brazil, he wound up getting infected with HIV and now does public speaking and advocacy work for those living with the disease. Chasey Lain: Chasey began as a dancer and became one of the highest paid performers in XXX. But after struggling with the changing economics and structure of the adult business, she turned to working as an escort at the world famous Bunny Ranch. She’s now saving money to go back to school and start her life over. Georgina Spelvin began as a Broadway dancer and actress. When the work dried up she got a job on an adult film as a caterer and then starred in the director’s next film, The Devil in Miss Jones; which would go on to be one of the most successful XXX movies of all time. Georgina bounced back and forth with retirement until she took a job in an office and retired with her pension (and love of her life) 20 years later in Hollywood, CA. Janine Lindemulder:

A one time softball star with college scholarship offers, Janine found her way into adult through a modeling ad. Her porn career led her to the most successful feature dancer in the world. She retired to marry and have a daughter with Orange County Choppers star Jesse James, but after a brutal custody battle she also went to federal prison for owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes. After getting out she moved to the Oregon Coast to get her life back on track. It’s still a work in progress. After Porn Ends 2 is the follow up to the iTunes and Amazon #1 2012 predecessor and delves deeper into society’s ongoing stigmas of race, misogyny, and the reality of decreasing opportunities for these former VHS box cover stars. For some, their careers in adult entertainment is accepted proudly and without regret. For others, a career in the adult industry has proven to be a conduit to certain despair as they struggle to find a way to bury their past and emerge with a new career or calling. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes, and will be released on VOD as well on March 28th. It is directed and produced by Bryce Wagoner (After Porn Ends, Parrot Heads), and produced by Michael Weiss, Andy Weiss, Billy Sorrentino, and Michael Tipps, with Cara Kidwell serving as co producer. Michael Weiss negotiated the distribution deal on behalf of the filmmakers. Wagoner is represented by Zero Gravity Management.

August Ames dead: 23-year-old adult entertainment actor’s body found after homophobia row

An adult film star who starred in almost 290 movies has died at the age of 23.

August Ames, who was from Nova Scotia in Canada, reportedly died in Camarillo, California on Tuesday morning.

The exact cause of death currently remains unknown but police have said there is no indication of foul play, according to the Evening Standard.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Ames, whose real name is Mercedes Grabowski, had passed away but did not give a cause.

It is feared Ames may have taken her own life.

Her husband, Kevin Moore, is said to have expressed his sadness and asked for privacy.

He reportedly said: “She was the kindest person I ever knew and she meant the world to me. Please leave this as a private family matter in this difficult time.”

Ames’ death took place just days after she came under heavy criticism for saying she refused to work with men who have also appeared in gay pornography, someone she described as a “crossover” performer.

Ames was accused of homophobia on Twitter but sought to defend herself, saying she needed to have autonomy over her body.

“I don’t have anything to apologise for! Apologising for taking extra steps to ensue that my body stays safe? F*** you guys attacking me when none of my intentions were malicious. I f**king love the gay community! What the f*** ever! I CHOOSE who I have inside my body. No hate,” she tweeted.

She posted her last tweet the next day which simply read “f*** y’all.”

Ames has amassed more than 270 film credits since 2013 and was a nominee for this year’s female performer of the year for the forthcoming 2018 Adult Video News Awards in January.

Fellow adult entertainers have expressed their sadness at the news of her death on social media.

Abella Danger said: “I can honestly say I loved her so much. She was the most genuinely kind hearted girl I had the pleasure of becoming friends with.”

Nikki Benz said: “Another beautiful soul taken too soon. RIP @AugustAmesxxx I’m still in disbelief.”

Producer and director Jules Jordan said: “Rest In Peace to August Ames, one of the best, nicest people I ever knew in the business.”

Brazzers, a porn production based in Montreal in Canada, also paid tribute to her and chose to postpone a previously planned Ames scene.

“In light of today’s tragic news Brazzers has decided to postpone the release of tonight’s scheduled August Ames scene,” it said. “The scene will be posted at a more appropriate time, as we come to terms with this devastating loss. Thank you for your understanding.”

For confidential support on mental health call the Samaritans on 116 123, email [email protected] or attend a local Samaritans branch

Seth Meyers calls Matt Lauer the ‘dildo at work’ for allegedly giving sex toy to co-worker

With a pre-taped Late Night airing Wednesday, Seth Meyers finally got his chance to weigh in on Matt Lauer’s dismissal from NBC.

On Thursday’s show, the host addressed the sexual misconduct allegations leveled at the veteran television personality, which included claims that Lauer gave sex toys to co-workers. This prompted Meyers to opine, “As a general rule, if you’re giving someone a dildo at work, you’re the dildo at work.”

He also commented on Lauer’s reported affinity for playing the “f—, marry, kill” game at the office. “I don’t know who you said you’d marry in those conversations, but I do know you killed your career and f—ed yourself,” cracked Meyers.

Late Night airs weeknights on NBC at 12:35 a.m. ET. Watch the full clip above.

Jason Reynolds: Young Adult’s bright prince

To read more, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

His long hair in dreadlocks, his tattoos unfurling beneath a fashionable T-shirt, Jason Reynolds strides into a vegetarian restaurant in the West Village. His presence is so magnetic — crackling with intensity and wit — that it’s easy to see how he can step into classrooms, like he does every week, and hold kids spellbound.

In between discussions about leaving New York (the 33-year-old recently moved from Brooklyn to D.C., where he was raised) and the literary genius of hip-hop artists like Queen Latifah and Tupac, he recounts what school visits are like. At a recent one, a young boy approached him and said, “Yo, I’m not gonna lie to you, man. I didn’t even know that authors could wear leather jackets.”

Reynolds is used to reactions like this. “To them, I represent possibility,” he explains. “It matters that all I have on is a short-sleeved shirt. It matters [that kids say], ‘Oh, he’s got tattoos?’ Yes, I look like your favorite rapper. Now you know there are other options—that reading and writing can be cool in a very real way.”

It also matters that Reynolds’ novels are some of the best reads for young people today, shedding light on the struggles — and triumphs — of kids in communities long ignored in literature except by writers like Walter Dean Myers (Monster), a mentor to Reynolds before his 2014 death. In fact, it was Myers’ son Chris, a close friend, who suggested he try writing YA when Reynolds’ dream career in poetry wasn’t taking off.

So he wrote his first novel, When I Was the Greatest, before and after his shifts at SoHo clothing store Rag & Bone in 2012, and it was published to acclaim in 2014. “I had never written anything in my own voice,” he recalls. “I thought, ‘You mean to tell me I can put my natural voice on the page, the one everybody has called improper English, and it’ll give texture and authenticity to the story? I didn’t know.’ ”

Fast-forward three years and Reynolds’ books have found their way into classrooms and onto award ballots and the New York Times best-seller list. Impressively, his early success came even without the help of organizations like We Need Diverse Books, which was started in 2014 to help make diverse protagonists, authors, and stories a priority in the landscape of young peoples’ literature.

Reynolds attributes his initial rise more to the constant public support he received from established authors. “Jackie Woodson, Christopher Myers, Rita Williams Garcia, Laurie Halse Anderson, Sharon Draper — all the big dogs of the industry were basically carving out a space for me by constantly saying my name,” he says. “Everyone was afraid I’d slip through the cracks, so it was this constant pumping of my name, my name, my name. ‘There’s this kid, there’s this kid coming. Watch him, watch him, watch him.’”

Of course, when We Need Diverse Books did come along in 2014, the organization became a natural ally for Reynolds and his work. “By the time the diversity push even started, I had already sold three or four books,” Reynolds explains. “So then it was about me becoming a proponent to continue to perpetuate the movement.”

“I’m always going to be an advocate for and support the work they do. And I’m grateful for them, because once they did come in, they also helped to make sure, ‘Yo, Jason Reynolds needs to be on solid ground. Let’s do everything we can do ensure that as many people as possible know this person is in existence and he’s working very hard for our children, to tell stories that aren’t being told.’”

One of those rarely told stories is the subject of his 10th book, Long Way Down. The novel is a marvel: It plays out in just 60 seconds as 15-year-old Will, who’s on an elevator, has to decide whether he’ll follow the unspoken rules of the community and avenge his brother’s murder — or put the gun away and return home.

Like most of Reynolds’ books, inspiration came from real life. “I lost a friend to murder when I was 19,” he explains. “That night, all of my friends and I were at his mom’s house, and I remember the feeling of the room, which was this thickness. It was like the room was catalyzed.” He knew that any of them could walk out the door and murder the killer, but his friend’s mother urged them not to let any other parent feel her pain. “I’ll never forget the feeling of time suspended,” he says. “I knew I wanted to tell a story about a kid(young adult) who has every reason to do this, and every reason not to do this.”

Ideas for future books bubble out of Reynolds: He describes at least four upcoming projects, a couple of which he’s not supposed to talk about. When people ask how he can possibly be so prolific, he cites the advice Walter Dean Myers gave him the first time they met. Myers asked Reynolds, still working at Rag & Bone, about his writing schedule, and he explained that he wrote two-and-a-half pages before work, and another two-and-a-half in the evening after he got home. Myers took the information in, then made some quick calculations: “Five pages a day, five days a week, that’s a book every three months, that’s four books a year. That’s more books than anyone will ever be able to publish,” he said. “If you do it this way, you will not fail.”

How fashion borrows from prostitution

In a recent episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, the show’s star and creator, Larry David, casts an appraising eye on Paula, who is turned out in the standard-issue trappings of her trade.

“Why this outfit?” David asks benignly. “Why not be wholesome?”

Business might pick up, he suggests, if only Paula, who is sheathed in a merry widow and mesh hose, would trade up, swapping the drag for something more discreet. Paula considers, announcing brightly after a beat, “OK, animal prints gone. Fishnets out of here. I think I can do this.”

The scene is ripe with irony: Paula may be about to cast off her working-girl uniform, but plenty of civilians – Beverly Hills matrons and their law-abiding like – would happily do the reverse, trading their uptight luncheon suits for latex and leather, all in the service of style.

They won’t have to search far for a role model.

That look is dated, for sure, bearing little resemblance to what many prostitutes actually wear, but those images have proliferated just the same, a common sight this fall at concerts, on theatre screens and in a flurry of luxury ad campaigns.

Shrill fuschia fur: a manga-inspired prostitute in ‘Blade Runner 2049’ (Warner Bros)

Seedily costumed streetwalkers are a magnet to fans of The Deuce, a TV show about 1970s-era Times Square and the rise of its infant pornography industry. A leather-clad vixen grinds her stilettos into a fleshy male torso in one of the Steven Klein videos on display this month in Fetish, an exhibition organized in partnership with Visionaire magazine at the venerable Sotheby’s auction house. And a manga-inspired old-school prostitute, resplendent in shrill fuchsia fur, is among the vivid attractions of Blade Runner 2049.

The very prevalence of such images, overworked as they may be, is a testament to their durability. It is reason enough to look more closely at a position advanced by scholars and style arbiters alike: that the clothes we wear, or might like to wear, owe a very real debt to the world’s most ancient profession.

“Fashion right now is influenced by hookers,” said Anna Terrazas, costume designer of The Deuce. “It’s not the other way around.” In a sea of eye-numbing conventionality, a maverick appearance is their signature. For someone employed on the busy streets, Terrazas said, “the point is to be seen.”

Not a groundbreaking concept, exactly. “There is an untold history of the relationship between sex workers and fashion,” said Rebecca Arnold, a fashion historian and lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. As fashion’s early adopters, working women routinely took up what their respectable contemporaries shunned as too showy, tasteless or new.

“The dubious woman could be more outlandish in her dress, and more experimental,” Arnold said. “She is allied with the idea of fashion as linked, not necessarily with the avant-garde, but with the beginning of new dress trends.”

Among the more fashionably progressive were the grandes horizontales of the 19th century, courtesans like Cora Pearl, a client of Charles Worth, the era’s first celebrity designer; and Catherine Walters (‘Skittles’ to her public), riveting on horseback as she paraded through Hyde Park sewn into her riding ensembles. Her style was much copied by noblewomen of the day.

More recently, to hear it from the prostitutes themselves, down-market variations on that patrician theme have been reduced to a series of musty cliches.

“Fashion doesn’t produce a vast range of ideas of what female sexuality looks like,” said Annie Sprinkle, a writer, sex educator and former prostitute. Stereotypes abound, she noted, with the upper echelons of the profession embodied by the aspirational up-and-comer cloaked in cashmere and silk and the role-play specialist dressed in pinstripes or a schoolgirl smock. The more down-market variations flaunt fishnets, kinky boots, hot pants, fur chubbies and harnesses.

It’s a visual code dating at least from the 1970s, tatty and archaic even then. Yet it is routinely resurrected by top-tier designers including Marc Jacobs, John Galliano and Alexander Wang, each gussying up his offerings in sumptuous fabrics or in a mash-up of fetish, athletic and military gear, to tamp down the steamy aggression and make the look palatable to an affluent clientele.

Cora Pearl, the first celebrity designer (Getty)

The gambit works. “In the disco era, fashion was inspired by drag queens and prostitutes,” said Tom Fitzgerald, one half of Tom & Lorenzo, an opinionated fashion blog. “Fashion in general is always borrowing from street wear, and it doesn’t get more street wear than hooker.” Those references, fixtures in the lexicon of style, are mainstream now. “Is there a specific sex worker look anymore?” Fitzgerald said. “Or does it all get pulled from the sexy pile at Forever 21?”

Like hip-hop and grunge, “the look has been normalized,” he said. “It’s never been more respectable.”

Or apparently more covetable.

In The Deuce, Maggie Gyllenhaal, who plays the prostitute Candy, swivels her hips in a working-girl wardrobe of short shorts, skimpy tops and lightly soiled coats. The actress reminisced the other day about her fixation with its centrepiece, a boxy fur chubby, a down-market variation on a famously scandalising look introduced in the 1970s by Yves Saint Laurent, one inspired by the wartime prostitutes of the Rue Saint-Denis.

Seemingly unaware of its provenance, Gyllenhaal went on, “I wanted to wear that jacket in every scene.” She wasn’t alone. “It became such an iconic piece on the set,” Terrazas said. “All of the girls were, like, ‘I want a jacket like that.’”

Pop performers like to tap the look as an assertion of power, often treading a fine line between owning their sexuality and trading on it. Cardi B, a retired “stripper-ho,” as she boasts, has been accused of glamorising prostitution. She makes no apology.

Nor does Nicki Minaj, who turned up at a fashion show this fall wearing lace-up hot pants, over-the-knee boots and an ermine stole, her image an echo of Julia Roberts’s pre-makeover turnout in Pretty Woman. And let’s not forget Lil’ Kim, among the first performers to make tarty aggression her stylistic stock in trade, still pushing the look on her Instagram feed.

But those stereotypes are often at odds with reality.

“As an escort I had a uniform,” said Andrea Werhun, a 27-year-old actress, who chronicles her brief years as an escort in Modern Whore, an amalgam of memoir and short fiction, with provocative photographs by her collaborator Nicole Bazuin. Her outfit was tame by design. “I usually stuck to these crop tops and elegant A-line skirts or form-fitting dresses that covered up my body,” she said. “I wore them with really cute heels or little boot.”

Werhun offered what’s known as the girlfriend experience. “The idea was to look conservative enough that a client could take me to dinner,” she said. But she liked to add a single slightly risqué note. “I always wore thigh-high stockings,” she said.

At the more affluent end of the spectrum, a prostitute can communicate a chilly hauteur. Her type is epitomized by Catherine Deneuve dressed in pilgrim shoes and patent leather trench in “Belle de Jour,” or the racy, expensively clad models in any number of Helmut Newton photographs.

Nicki Minaj, right, echoes Julia Roberts look in ‘Pretty Woman (Touchstone Pictures/Getty)

The model Binx Walton telegraphs more than a hint of that slatternly upmarket allure in a Tom Ford fall 2017 eyewear campaign. Wearing little more than outsize shades, a pumpkin-coloured fur and glossy boots, she parts her legs suggestively to reveal a wedge of thigh. A Balmain ad is more overtly aggressive: the model, predatory in form-fitting snakeskin and a black patent leather, prowling a dimly lit Parisian back street.

What’s so compelling about these images? They hint, among other things, at invulnerability. “Designers make reference to sex workers to communicate toughness,” said James Kaliardos, a founder of Visionaire. There is an understanding, he said, that their client can be a mother, teacher or other professional and still want to armor herself in fetish wear.

In an increasingly repressive socio-political climate, wearing leather and sexy lingerie can signal rebellion, or a willful identification with the prostitute. It’s a position that has been advanced by social critics including Camille Paglia, whose theories are being revisited by a younger generation and who in Vamps & Tramps, her 1994 collection of essays, romanticised the prostitute’s outlaw status.

But for the would-be vamp, tart paraphernalia, now as ever, may simply serve as props in a performance. “A campy, over-the-top, overtly sexual image can be part of a visual fantasyland,” Arnold said. “It gives women a way of buying into that exciting idea of a sex worker without actually having to live that life.”

In the early 1990s, Sprinkle originated her Sluts and Goddesses video workshops to encourage her mostly conventional clients to dress — well, the title says it all. They’d play with the costumes and the archetypes as an exercise in boosting confidence, and feminist consciousness. “There are a lot of political implications, a lot of activism to these clothes,” Sprinkle said recently.

In that sort of charged context, she said, “a garter belt can pack a wallop.”

 

Henry Badenhorst dead: Founder of Gaydar website ‘dies aged 51’ in South Africa

The founder of Gaydar, one of the world’s first gay dating websites, has reportedly died at the age of 51.

According to BuzzFeed News, Henry Badenhorst died in South Africa on 11 November 2017. Initial reports suggest he took his own life.

Badenhorst, who was named one of the most influential LGBT people in Britain by The Independent on Sunday, founded Gaydar in London in 1999.

According to the report, he died after falling from a tower block in his native South Africa.

A local media report detailed the accounts of witnesses who claimed to have seen a 51-year-old man falling from the 23rd floor of the Michaelangelo Towers, a hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg.

BuzzFeed UK’s LGBT editor, Patrick Strudwick, said Badenhorst was “one of the sweetest men you could ever know. He changed life for gay and bisexual men and will be greatly missed by all.”

Badenhorst founded Gaydar alongside his business and romantic partner Gary Frisch in November 1999. Frisch passed away in 2007 – having also fallen to his death from a building’s balcony.

The London-based South African couple came up with the idea for the dating website after a single gay man they were friends with vented his frustrations about how hard it was to find a boyfriend on online dating sites.

Built in 1999, Gaydar was the first of its kind and was initially just created for desktop purpose only. It did not transform into an app until 2009.

The current managing director of Gaydar, Rob Curtis, said Badenhurst and his partner totally changed the way gay men were able to meet.

“Eighteen years ago, Henry and his partner Gary revolutionised the way that gay men meet, and in doing so created a safer environment for LGBT people everywhere,” he told the publication. “The Gaydar team is shocked and saddened to hear of Henry’s passing and send our sincerest sympathies to Henry’s friends and family.”

Gaydar is massively popular in everywhere from South Africa to the UK to Australia, Ireland and also in North America and continental Europe but to a lesser extent in the two latter areas. At the zenith of the site’s success in the late noughties, it was home to more than five million subscribers.

It has of course laid the groundwork for well-known mobile phone dating apps such as Grindr, Scruff, and Tinder.

As well as being famed for irreversibly shaking up the dating scene, it also found its way into the headlines on more occasion than one. After Boy George was convicted for falsely imprisoning a male escort in 2009, it emerged he had come across the escort on Gaydar. Labour MP Chris Bryant was discovered pictured on the dating site wearing just his pants.

Badenhorst is survived by his siblings and parents.

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