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Gay Times September 09 - Issue 372

Scents of style

Style, theatre, photography, Kylie! William Baker's had a hand in them all, not to mention his pants…

There’s a bag fit to bursting with Inverse – Kylie’s new smelly for men – on the floor, but it’s our tatty tote that William Baker’s pug dog is more interested in.
The creative designer and photographer behind the whole Inverse shebang gasps as his beloved mutt takes off with GT’s sunglasses.
Well really.
Once we’ve retrieved our (quite cheap, actually) eyewear and moved into his office (hundreds of books, the odd Kylie headdress here and there, pairs of – his own – pants) we try and talk serious business. Of men. And pants. And Kylie.
He starts by explaining the shots you’re no doubt salivating over here – for the Inverse men’s fragrance: “They wanted to present the two sides of a man’s nature, how you have the sensitive, emotional side and masculine side. What I really enjoyed about it was, in a way it is commercial, but I think it was quite out-there.
“Kylie really wanted to do a perfume for her gay audience. It’s a large part of her fan base. So picking a guy for that was quite difficult, all the different splinters of gay homo-eroticism nowadays. I mean, I didn’t want a bear,” he laughs. “It wouldn’t be right. I don’t think that would work with her. It wouldn’t work with her aesthetic.”
We discuss the fact that with the pair having chosen the model between them, Kylie’s now dating him. Lucky bitch.
“She’s really, really happy, the happiest I’ve seen her.”
He laughs when we ask if he’s bought a hat yet.
“Stop it! No. No it’s all bollocks,” he says in response to rumours that Kylie is set to wed, “but she’s really happy.”
No sorry, love growing from a photo shoot? We’re still going to push this whole wedding thing. What would he wear to Kylie’s wedding, that’s what we want to know!
“A big hat,” he jokes. “A big Alexis hat. A straw hat with a perm on top.”
Changing the subject, he asks what we think about the fragrance (FYI actually rather nice): “We were really worried about a perfume aimed at that market. It’s such a tricky thing. It’s not discriminative, but we totally didn’t want it to seem patronising or manipulative. But she has a gay sensibility, that’s what I’m saying. It makes sense.”
Taking photos of near-naked men that he’s had a hand in hooking up his best friend with aside, we know Baker’s also been involved in musicals – with a recent reworking of Rent – and a huge fan of a certain sci-fi show. So…
“I’d love to do Doctor Who the musical!” he says with a massive grin. “I based a lot of [Kylie’s tours] Fever and Showgirl on Doctor Who. We actually used the Cybermen’s voices. I think in all seriousness, Doctor Who as a musical would really work.”
A long discussion about all things Who ensues (don’t worry, we’ll spare you). But we get back on track to discuss Baker’s recent involvement with Britney’s Circus tour. He’s loved working with her.
“She said to me ‘I won’t wear these, they’re too hooker-ish’. I really laughed! I thought it was the funniest thing I’d ever heard.”
But truth be told, nice smells, gay icons and Doctor Who aside, with us it always comes down to pants. And seeing as he designs his own range then we have absolutely no shame in asking what he looks for in a nice pair of pants…
“The packet,” he laughs. “What? In my pants or any pair of pants? I don’t know what to say. I’m blushing!”

Words: Darren Scott

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