PRINT November 1996


Nan Goldin once declared her “aspiration was to be a fashion photographer”; her goal, “to put the queens on the cover of Vogue.” Denizens of the other side, Ivy, Misty, Colette, Bea, Crystal never did make it to the cover. Theirs may have been a theater of affect, of lip gloss and excess, but the glamour was real: it rode shotgun with them in the backs of cabs, in foil sachets, in the exotic accoutrements of a third sex. And for a generation of photographers sick of overlit and unattainable ideals, these were indelible images. The gender game may have veered the other way—toward the liminal androgyny of the model-waif—but it is from drag queens that the play of sublimated disaffection and bruised mortality has been drawn. Twenty years down the line fashion appears to have done a great deal more of Goldin than she of it.

Recently, with fashion shoots in The New York Times Magazine, in

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