Watch Boys Don’t Cry, a New Fashion Film Celebrating Masculine Identity

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QUENTIN JONES Boys Don't Cry nowness
Boys Don't Cry, 2022(Film still)

Commissioned as part of the V&A’s upcoming menswear exhibition, Boys Don’t Cry is an ode to the fluidity of contemporary masculine identity

Featuring clothes from the likes of JW Anderson, Rick Owens, and Craig Green, the V&A’s upcoming exhibition, Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear hopes to redefine the very notion of gendered clothing. “Masculine fashion is enjoying a period of unprecedented creativity,” say co-curators Claire Wilcox and Rosalind McKever. “Rather than a linear or definitive history, this is a journey across time and gender. This will be a celebration of the masculine wardrobe, and everyone is invited to join in.”

Plus, the exhibition’s scope is not just limited to the four walls of the gallery – today, Nowness released a fashion film, titled Boys Don't Cry, to accompany the landmark show. Directed by Quentin Jones, the black-and-white film features dancers Ed Munro, Abu Bakar, José Lapaz-Rodríguez, and Carl Ponce Cubero combining jazz, ballet, and vogue femme movements all while wearing a series of extravagant, sometimes genderfluid ensembles.

Boys Don't Cry is choreography-based, about the future of masculine identity and how a more optimistic and inclusive view of gender is unfolding," says Jones. "My film touches on the idealised male body, but also on the fragility of masculinity when it is based on limiting ideas.” 

The title of the film – an old-fashioned phrase immortalised in The Cure’s angsty 1980 song, Hillary Swank’s 1991 film, and Frank Ocean’s 2016 magazine, all of the same name – is turned on its head here; as is the meaning of ‘menswear’ in the V&A’s exhibition, Fashioning Masculinities.

Fashioning Masculinities: The Art of Menswear is at the V&A from 19 March 2022.