I have written this article in order to establish Patrick Kelly as a black forbearer of fashion. Kelly complicates our sense of fashion through his use of black memorabilia and camp to not only create something consumable but to comment on the black body as a consumable. Therefore, the role I play in acknowledging this black supernova, as Eric Darnell Pritchard calls him, is by critiquing Lewis and Fraley’s critique of Patrick Kelly and questioning why overtly expressing one’s queerness through camp has not been seen as a viable form of black expression in the mainstream narrative of black creativity. Lewis and Fraley’s complete dismissal of Kelly’s use of camp does not happen in a vacuum. Yet, I must remember that there is also the task of establishing a legacy of technique for Patrick Kelly. Who are his forbearers?
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