Jon Lys Turner

Divine’s Orange Octopus Disco Dress on show at Queer Britain

It is with great pleasure that I am lending Divine’s bright orange ‘Octopus’ disco dress to Queer Britain, the UK’s first national LGBTQ+ museum which is housed in Granary Square, King’s Cross, London, occupying part of a beautiful historic building owned by the charity, Art Fund.

Queer Britain celebrates people who have impacted every part of British culture, ensuring valuable stories and artefacts are not lost but are preserved, explored and celebrated. And hence this dress:

In the mid 1980s, when Divine found himself soaring up the UK charts with his unique dance floor hits, he would always stay in the house of Dame Zandra Rhodes in Bayswater, London –  where I was lucky enough to also live. We travelled the country in whatever vehicle was available for him to appear in clubs all over the land.

London offered many savoury temptations – none more so than Harrods Food Hall or a long tea at Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly. When his friends banned him from cream teas, he dropped a few stone in a month.

This dress was commissioned but delayed in delivery. Sadly by that time (and the amount of tea cakes) meant that the disco star could hardly fit his near 26 stone frame into it for long. He pushed it into my arms saying, “You go out, Honey”. It has been with me for the following 40 years.

Sending congratulations and wishing luck to Joseph Galliano and the team at Queer Britain.

Further details can be found on the Guardian website