Stepping out of the closet and into the shower with Tom of Finland. He’s been hung (yes) in art galleries the world over, you’ve worn the t-shirts, last year you may even have licked the back of his stamp (unf), few illustrators have a more impressive pedigree than Finnish artist Touko Laasonen. His four decade career boasted an excess of 3,500 exceptionally erotic images, which take their aesthetic cues from the now iconic hyper-masculine archetypes of sailors, bikers, construction workers and coppers.
Ten years ago, the Tom of Finland Clothing Company combined two of our favourite things: homoeroticism and fashion, rendering Laasonen’s hot mess of monster-donged muscle man mythology over t-shirts and vests. The collection – still available now – paid homage to the artist’s monochrome pallet, photo realistic shading, tidy lines and alluring silhouettes.
Laaksonen preferred to draw on working class references, depicting encounters between strangers clad in leather, jeans and often nothing at all. His sleek redesign over time became uniform in contrast to the effeminate stereotypes of gay men in the mainstream media.
No longer just covering paperbacks or beefcake magazines in porno shops, now you can bring Laaksonen’s pseudonym, Tom and his entourage of thick bulging, erm, moustaches home with you. You can even take him into the shower to help you dry off.
Finnish heritage textile company Finlayson have expanded their operation into the UK with the launch of an exclusive Tom of Finland Collection, centred around two classic TOF designs titled Fellows and Face to Face. We’re talking a master class in lumberjack fantasies here. Splattered across satin pillow cases and duvet covers – take Tom to bed! – bath towels – bring Tom into the shower! – and tote bags – take Tom to the butchers! He likes meat.
“And you, you little shit...” Get ready to open that Xenomorph pet shop! We’re thinking it should be called Lucky Star… Thirty-six years on and we FINALLY get the Aliens action figure we’ve been waiting for – Jonesy the cat! Well maybe a slight exaggeration. Ripley’s in there too, somewhere. In every generation there is a soft toy. It’s like a Slayer’s comfort blanket, but sharper. Not much mind. You can practice making vampires go POOF with the most prized possession of everyone’s favourite chosen one… Y’know, after Faith. This is genius. Next stop NERF Slayer scythe. Listen sister, if I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you. Does your heart belong to Elvira, the Mistress of the Dark? The correct answer is yes. Shedding her little black dress for something like a more gothed up Jessica Rabbit, 14” tall and £250? Reasonable right? The correct answer is also yes.