A Bulging Tribute to Gianni Versace

Judging from Versace’s hit men’s show for summer 2012, as well as the hordes ransacking vintage stores in search of 90s-era Gianni creations and the slew of designers praising their late counterpart, Versace menswear mania has clearly reached fever-pitch.

But trust the great Matthias Vriens-McGrath (McGrath is his married name) to take the trend to new heights—literally. In the latest issue of Têtu, the iconic French gay magazine, the Dutch lensman summoned those legendary 1990s Versace ads by Richard Avedon, the ones of Claudia, Nadja and co., their hair caught in a mighty wind, their poses fabulous to the point of irony, their colorful clothes an intriguing mix of glamour and vulgarity.

The same can be said of Vriens’ tongue-in-cheek reprise. Except this time around, the models are muscular, corn-fed American studs wearing loud sweaters, garish socks, leather brogues and micro-shorts that outline can’t-take-my-eyes-off bulges.

Vriens, in his Têtu debut, is a great addition to the team, and be prepared for a hot December issue. “He shot biker men in some sort of Ali Baba’s cave,” said Nicolas Valloteau, the magazine’s art director. Regarding that Versace tribute shoot, we couldn’t help but ask if they used tricks or props for extra endowment. “Absolutely not,” he assured us. “Everything was natural.”

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