“Sustainability and intention are really important to me when dressing these days,” says stylist and muse Quinton Mulvey, who mostly wears “vintage staples with a few designer outliers here and there.” Today, he is wearing a white Lemaire top and vintage pleated trousers, and describes his personal style as “homoerotic resort wear and polished minimalism.” On his Instagram, however, he tends to wear much less: In one post, the 23-year-old can be seen in a hand-knitted crochet thong, while in another, he is sandy, sun-kissed and nude, looking as if belongs in one of Herbert List’s bliss-filled photographs. But regardless of his look, Quinton often wears eye-catching earrings, from a simple silver hoop to a dangling baroque pearl. “Jewelry is a whole word of expression for me,” explains Quinton, who talks gender-fluid fashion, poetry and more in the following interview with Edwin.
On Where He Grew Up:
I grew up in a relatively quaint town in Upstate New York, roughly two hours north of New York City. We lived on the edge of suburbia and farmland so nature was always very accessible. I used to photograph my friends amongst the fields and mountains nearby.
I am fortunate that my town was liberal enough to comfortably be myself as a queer person, but that doesn’t mean that I was supported by all of my peers. There were a few havens like Albany and Hudson that I would go to and connect with my community there.
On Finding Himself:
I remind myself daily that understanding myself (my identity, my needs, my passions) is an ongoing journey. I can confidently tell you that moving to such a vast city like New York really taught me how important feeling vulnerable and open with others is. I am a sensitive person who needs honest connection to feel secure.
New York also helped me find my confidence as a creative. Working alongside inspiring mentors and throwing myself into positions that I wasn’t necessarily qualified for instilled a sense of certainty within me that I am able and valid enough to execute my vision.
That being said, I recently moved to Los Angeles and I am already learning more about myself in terms of my independence and my priorities. It’s a process.
On Coming Out:
My friends and family always assumed that I was gay (in a very non-threatening way). I give my mother a lot of credit for fiercely upholding my right to live and express myself freely in the face of some opposition from the community we lived in. She was a bit of a catalyst for my coming out — it felt like more of an acknowledgment of my sexuality than an all-encompassing statement to the world. I’m extremely privileged in that my safety and support was never compromised after doing so.
On Becoming a Stylist:
I’ve worked in many different capacities on set throughout my career and still somehow ended up adjusting a garment or suggesting a different look. It’s just my natural place. Interning for my previous boss Tom Van Dorpe (an incredibly dedicated and talented stylist) genuinely taught me how to approach clothing with artful intention rather than working on instinct alone.
What He’s Most Proud Of:
I am most proud of the relationships I’ve formed throughout my life. I’ve found that my internal dialogue is almost always flawed by my own ego or assumption. The guidance and clarity others provide has consistently made me a more aware and compassionate person. I’m inspired by my friends every day.
On His Personal Style & Where He Shops:
I’d say my personal style falls within the spectrum of homoerotic resort wear and polished minimalism. Sustainability and intention are really important to me when dressing these days. I mostly wear vintage staples sprinkled with a few designer outliers here and there. Today I wore cream, pleated trousers from my favorite vintage store The Break in Brooklyn and a white Lemaire top I bought on sale in Paris. Now that I’m in Los Angeles I can finally fulfill my fantasy of wearing sandals as frequently as possible.
On Fashion & Gender:
I have to give the fashion industry some credit for at least nodding to gender fluidity in dress of late. There are a handful of really beautiful brands that combat gender stereotypes and are finally receiving recognition from the commercial and luxury fashion industries alike. I absolutely feel the space for nonconformity growing.
As someone who has shopped in the “Women’s” section of thrift stores my entire life, I still stop and consider whether people will find me conventionally attractive or acceptable when I pull a more femme look. It’s empowering going forward with what feels good on my body, reminding myself that if people aren’t into my look then they aren’t really my people anyway.
Jewelry is also a whole world of expression for me. I love wearing a big statement earring when I’m dressed more conservatively for balance. Throughout the history of gay semiotics my community has communicated through jewelry.
His Favorite Jewelry Brands:
For craft and accessibility I’m really into Common Muse Co., Luiny, SVNR, Edas, and Tuza. Brands that I love at a higher price point include Sophie Buhai, Isabell Bonner, Bjorg and Victoria Mingot.
What Inspires Him:
I gather inspiration from various music, paintings, people, occurrences, written words, light hitting blank walls, drunken conversations, trash, etc. I think it’s important to step out of the digital void and allow yourself to really react to things happening around you. I’m definitely a romantic. It’s all about sentiment.
His Favorite Poem:
I’m torn [between these two].
“Poem” by Frank O’Hara (1959)
Light clarity avocado salad in the morning
after all the terrible things I do how amazing it is
to find forgiveness and love, not even forgiveness
since what is done is done and forgiveness isn’t love
and love is love nothing can ever go wrong
though things can get irritating boring and dispensable
(in the imagination) but not really for love
though a block away you feel distant the mere presence
changes everything like a chemical dropped on a paper
and all thoughts disappear in a strange quiet excitement
I am sure of nothing but this, intensified by breathing
“Scheherazade” by Richard Siken (2005)
Tell me about the dream where we pull the bodies out of the lake
and dress them in warm clothes again.
How it was late, and no one could sleep, the horses running
until they forget that they are horses.
It’s not like a tree where the roots have to end somewhere,
it’s more like a song on a policeman’s radio,
how we rolled up the carpet so we could dance, and the days
were bright red, and every time we kissed there was another apple
to slice into pieces.
Look at the light through the windowpane. That means it’s noon, that means
Tell me how all this, and love too, will ruin us.
These, our bodies, possessed by light.
Tell me we’ll never get used to it.