A Max Allen Night’s Dream

The artist’s new project explores theatrical costume, queer clubwear and camp iconography.

Max Allen’s latest show, ‘Gay Mens Sexy Undies, Part 2 – A Max Allen Night’s Dream,’ at the Ridley Road Project Space, is a celebration of colour, queer culture, design craftsmanship and hedonism. Lingering somewhere in the space between traditional Shakespearean attire and the packed bar of a London gay pub, lies Allen’s newest project – a display of vibrant, kitschy designs that are blended with iconic queer pop culture and a thespian theme. 

I want people to see the levels of textile work and details that I’m passionate about in my work. Also to see the creativity, humour and sexuality of the contemporary queer community I know and love,” Max Allen explains. 

Having had his clothes worn by the likes of ShyGirl and FKA Twigs, Allen is now cementing his notability as a multidisciplinary creative to be reckoned with through his far-reaching ideas into the more obscure corners of his imagination. The project feels like a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most camp, extraordinary plays in the world. Allen combines some traditional cuts of a production set in the 1600s with sexy, revealing pieces, like briefs and stockings. What’s created is a perfect glimpse into Allen’s mind, a world full of creativity and connections between time periods and the ability to blend influences and inspirations without masking Allen’s own distinct voice in his work. 

“The clothing in the work is really about me communicating textiles and techniques that I put all my time and care into. I like to present this work in a fun way that involves my love of hedonism, my years working in queer clubs and performance, with lots of humour, pop culture reference and sexuality. With the name ‘a Max Allens Night’s Dream’, I’m really trying to say… I’m available to do the costumes for a big theatre show when the RSC is ready for me.” 

  • Designer Max Allen

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