Designer Per Götesson Interviewed by Drag Sensation A Man To Pet

  • TextTed Stansfield

Serving Cathy Horyn realness, East London drag queen A Man To Pet makes her fashion journalism debut, quizzing Swedish designer Per Götesson on sex, style and Schiaparelli

The Pale Blue Door, London. Swedish designer Per Götesson arrives for his Another Man interview, wearing a honey-coloured trench coat of his own design. Soon after, his interviewer arrives: Athens-via-East-London drag queen A Man To Pet, who is today making her fashion journalism debut. She sits opposite her subject, adopts an unusually serious manner and proceeds to interrogate him on everything from his inspirations to, well, slightly more personal topics. Here, alongside images of Götesson’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection, shot in the Pale Blue Door exclusively for Another Man, is their conversation...

A Man To Pet: What inspires you?

Per Götesson: I usually look at people on the streets, especially where I’m based in Seven Sisters. I look at practical wear, work clothes and how people combine things, and try and make it into ‘fashion’. It’s my way of processing what I would wear by filtering what other people are wearing.

AMTP: What would you suggest for me to wear out of your Spring/Summer 2019 collection for my performances?

PG: We have a very low-cut jean and I remember you used to wear a thong —

AMTP: All the time…

PG: — and I think it would be great to have butt cleavage.

AMTP: I love that. My bum is always out. It’s one of my talents.

“Scandinavian functionalism can be so boring” – Per Götesson

PG: Yeah, it’s great. That would look really good.

AMTP: I can’t wait to see it. How can a bow at the back of a pair of jeans be about Scandinavian functionalism? Will it keep my arse comfy when I sit on the pavement?

PG: It’s not functional at all. Scandinavian functionalism can be so boring. Obviously denim is a very functional fabric and it came from this idea… when I was studying, I would make tailored suits but they wouldn’t be in fine wool, they would be in something [like] denim because that’s what I feel... is more wearable…

AMTP: So that will keep my arse comfy when I sit on the pavement?

PG: It will provide a bit of cushioning. But I know you like to keep it quite bare at the back...

AMTP: What’s fun in London at the moment?

PG: A Pale Blue Door, that’s great. But I don’t know. I feel like a lot of people are just on Instagram and that’s it. They don’t really go out anymore. I think what’s fun in London is behind closed doors.

AMTP: How old are you?

PG: 32. How old is A Man To Pet?

AMTP: Who knows? Nobody knows. She’s timeless… Are you nostalgic? I’m not.

PG: I used to think I wasn’t, that I was about moving forward. But I’ve realised that I am really nostalgic. For example, I use fabrics I remember from school and that kind of things. I can’t use something that feels alien, I’m not that type —

AMTP: Really? Because I feel your clothes are a little bit alien. The fabric... Of course, you feel a bit of 90s there as well but also it’s quite new, how people wear it, how young people are wearing it now.

PG: I’ll take that as a compliment.

AMTP: Define masculinity.

“That’s what I’m trying to explore: how to be sensual without being aggressive” – Per Götesson

PG: I’m interested in exploring masculinity in ways which are not aggressive. So I would define masculinity as sensual, something sensual. That’s what I’m trying to explore: how to be sensual without being aggressive.

AMTP: What you rather for the rest of your life have long pink nails or a bleach blonde square bob?

PG: Definitely nails. More attitude.

AMTP: Would you rather dress A Man To Pet or Miss Piggy? I know that’s very difficult but you have to choose one.

PG: I wouldn’t want to dress Miss Piggy, why would I want to do that?

AMTP: Because she’s amazing.

PG: I guess I could think about it. But I would choose you.

AMTP: Tell us why, tell us why.

PG: Because I would want to see what I could do with this bum cleavage.

AMTP: I wasn’t sure about your soundtrack, Summer of 69. I know you used it for your show. It’s by Bryan Adams isn’t it? Do you like the 69 position?

PG: Err (laughs), it’s not my go-to thing. But if it happens it happens (laughs). I don’t mind it.

AMTP: Did you wear your mum’s clothes [when you were a child]?

PG: I did actually. It was me and my friend who dressed up, a lot of times actually. We were at home, just walking around in high heels. I was probably about eight or nine. My mum had lots of jackets and skirts but also lots of flats, which were not so much fun. His mum clothes were much more fun because she had high heels.

AMTP: Scandinavian mummies, 80s fashion. Scandinavian [fashion] is always practical. They always try to be modern, not you, but it’s always quite safe. Maybe because you live in London you’re a bit more…

“Funny is sexy. A bit weird is sexy. Nerdy can be sexy too” – Per Götesson

PG: I think so. That’s why I had to get out.

AMTP: Why do your models always look like they’ve been beaten up, or escaped from drowning, or from Boy George’s cellar?

PG: Oh my God. That’s awful. No comment (laughs).

AMTP: Is that your type?

PG: No. I like the sea though. It’s very sexual. Because it’s a little bit scary but also you want to go in it.

AMTP: It’s like ‘oh my god, I’ve escaped this situation which is behind me’. Define sexy.

PG: Funny. Funny is sexy. A bit weird is sexy. Nerdy can be sexy too.

AMTP: What do you love and what do you hate about Grindr? Do you use other sex applications?

PG: Well I’m in a relationship, so I don’t use Grindr. I used to but I lose interest in that kind of thing, I don’t keep it up. It’s like Instagram, you just scroll, scroll, scroll. So I think some people are addicted – I have some friends who just sit there and scroll.

AMTP: How long have you had a boyfriend? And where did you find him? Maybe you can find one for me as well. Not that I like to be in a relationship.

PG: One year and a few months. We started working together.

AMTP: Is he Swedish?

PG: No he’s German.

AMTP: The same eurotrash… Who is the sexiest male on earth?

“I think Elsa Schiaparelli is really amazing. She embodies that fun, weird and bit nerdy [approach to fashion]” – Per Götesson

PG: My boyfriend, obviously. And if I had to give another one... There was this exhibition at the Pompidou and there was this dog walking around, the dog was part of the exhibition, and the dog keeper, he was so sexy. But he had a light in front of his head so you could only see the back of his head but it was really sexy.

AMTP: You’re a weirdo...

PG: When someone is exposed too much, I need something to process what is happening there. I need to process it a little bit, to work on it a little bit.

AMTP: I like that… You need to discover what is underneath. I’m a little bit like that. And let’s finish it with fashion. What are you wearing these days?

PG: All-white and socks and sandals.

AMTP: Who is your favourite designer?

PG: Elsa Schiaparelli. When I applied to do fashion when I was 18, I had to pick a designer and I chose her. She was the first person I really researched. She’s really amazing. She embodies that fun, weird and nerdy [approach to fashion].

Special thanks to Tony Hornecker