There was a turning point for Marcus in high school when he was cast in Oliver! – “it became more about the costume” than musical theater. “I remember stealing some knickers and some monk shoes from the prop closet and wearing them to school the next day…that is what shaped my view about fashion.” Today, Marcus continues to express himself as he chooses and enjoys “blowing the preconcieved notions of things out of the water.” Thus, you might see Marcus giving his rock and roll and urban touch to a respendent kimono or a lavender feathered women’s bolero. He was once wearing a long t-shirt over short shorts that prompted a man to come up to him and say, “Excuse me sir, where are your pants?” Alittle reminiscent of “please sir, can I have some more?” Appropriately named Smoke & Mirrors, his blog is a reference to “what you see isn’t necessarily what you get.” He writes about his passion for hip-hop, despite the fact that he is a half-Jewish, half-Swedish white kid from Buffalo who is infatuated with eighteenth-century dress (as in Amadeus Mozart, who “wore wigs, tights, and heels on a daily basis”). Marcus doesn’t wear a wig – he possesses a dazzling head of long hair, that contributes to people’s quick judgement about his androgynous appearance.
I couldn’t agree with him more that men’s fashion since the early 19th century has succumbed to social tunnel visions, who really wouldn’t feel dazzling in a Commes des Garcon coat with a bustle to a Northface? I can’t help but wonder if Marcus’ almost maternal love for Janet Jackson, whom he saw as the “underdog” next to her brother, came from the boundaries he has been forced to have to push through. Thanks to Marcus’ integrity and tenacity, the magic of the Prince and the Pauper and a time when men were more liberated, ironically, lives on.