The Finnish Institute in London is proud to presents our debut podcast discussing the legendary illustrator and artist Tom of Finland. The focus is on Tom of Finland’s influence on fashion, not only in the leather community, but also putting it in a wider frame by looking at sexual liberation and the impact of popular erotic imagery on fashion in general.
The discussion was recorded on Thursday 6 July at the Prince Charles Cinema in Soho at an event celebrating Tom of Finland’s art and influence. The event was organised in collaboration with Pride in London. The discussion is moderated by the director of the Finnish Institute in London, Pauliina Ståhlberg and the discussants of the evening where Roy Brown aka Roy Inc and Shaun Cole.
Singer/songwriter/producer and performer Roy Inc has worked with artists such as Sting, Donna Summer, Verve, Neneh Cherry, Pet Shop Boys and Frank Ocean – and been shot by some of the most inspired fashion photographers of our time including David Bailey, Jurgen Teller and Nick Knight. Dr Shaun Cole is Associate Dean Postgraduate Communities at London College of Fashion. He was formerly Head of Contemporary Programmes at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Cole has also written and lectured on the subject of menswear and gay fashion and his publications include ‘Don We Now Our Gay Apparel’: Gay Men’s Dress in the Twentieth Century (2000), Dialogue: Relationships in Graphic Design (2005) The Story of Men’s Underwear (2010) and Fashion Media: Past and Present (2013).
Tom of Finland (Touko Laaksonen, 1920-1991) is one of the gay world’s biggest icons. His drawings have had an enormous influence on the visual appearance, attitudes and self-understanding of gay people. Tom’s ultimate leather men are known all over the world and they are key icons of Western visual culture. The Finnish Institute in London is funded by The Ministry of Culture and Education
Theme photo by Petteri Tikkanen