Grayson Perry's Olivier Awards cape - and 6 other times he's been a colourful fashion maverick

8th Apr 19 | Fashion

The 59-year-old potter and tapestry-maker is by no means a sartorial shrinking violet.

Olivier Awards 2019 - London

Turner prize-winning artist Grayson Perry doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being shy and retiring. Along with creating vibrant and often political pots, he’s become well known for his penchant for colourful cross-dressing.

Perry proved this again at Sunday night’s Olivier Awards when he wore bright pink bloomers, a pink frilly top with a cat on, all topped off with a yellow cape decorated with cartoon characters. For Perry, wearing women’s clothes is about indulging in his flamboyant alter-ego, called Claire.

Grayson Perry attending the Laurence Olivier Awards, Royal Albert Hall, London. (Ian West/PA)
(Ian West/PA)

As with most of Perry’s over-the-top outfits, it was met with a whole lot of love.

Perry’s style is pretty unique, and here are some other occasions his sartorial experimentation has stolen the show…

1. In this sparkly number…

Summer Party at the V&A – London
(Ian West/PA)

The outfits Perry wears are unlike anything you’ll see anyone else in, which is probably down to the fact he apparently gets most of them custom-made by art and fashion students.

He wore this shimmering purple and blue number to last year’s V&A Summer Party, and as we can expect from Perry it was accompanied with just as wacky a make-up look, complete with OTT eyeshadow and diamantes.

2. In this riot of colours…

Royal Academy flags – London
(Matt Crossick/PA)

You really have to respect Perry for being unapologetically himself when it comes to fashion. Most of us wouldn’t dream of wearing something so loud or bright, and yet he looks just as comfortable in it as if he’s popping down the shops.

He wrote in the Guardian last year: “I started dressing up before I knew anyone else did it, but that was common for people of my generation and before. There was no internet, no movement as such. We were doing it spontaneously, without realising that we weren’t alone.”

3. In this evening gown…

Virgin TV British Academy Television Awards 2017 – Arrivals – London
(Matt Crossick/PA)

When Perry dresses as Claire, he’s often showing a lot of leg. However, he changed things up at the BAFTA TV Awards in 2017 by wearing a salmon full-length dress, which had orders for a full English breakfast scrawled over it- including ‘bacon bap’ and ‘2 toast’.

This was the year he was nominated for his documentary Grayson Perry: All Man, which was an investigation into modern masculinity. Perry’s outfits subvert and challenge more traditional ideas of masculinity, so what could be more perfect than wearing a pink gown for the occasion?

4. In this pink dress…

GQ Men of the Year Awards 2016 – London
(Ian West/PA)

At the GQ Men of the Year Awards 2016 most of the male guests were wearing sharp suits, and Perry really showed everyone up in this hot pink minidress. Once again, it shows Perry unafraid to be himself, and doing so with a sense of humour.

5. In this fashion-forward yellow number…

Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Preview Party – London
(Matt Crossick/PA)

Perry wore this yellow outfit in 2015, but he was definitely ahead of the fashion curve. Nowadays, poofy chiffon dresses are all the rage and have been worn by everyone from Rihanna to Dua Lipa. Maybe these celebrities were inspired by Perry without even realising it?

6. In this bonnet…

Grayson Perry
(Ian West/PA)

You might recognise this outfit, pictured back in 2008 – it’s actually the same as Perry wore to Sunday night’s Olivier Awards, but accessorised with different shoes and a pink bonnet instead of a yellow cape. Even if his dress sense might be far from average, we appreciate any celeb who knows how to re-wear and re-style their favourite outfits.

© Press Association 2019

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