What Leeuw especially loves about lesbian fashion is the ability to remove men’s sexual desires and interests from the equation, making dressing a total free-for-all. “Another common misconception is that lesbian fashion is not sexy,” she says. “However, by not dressing to the male gaze, there is so much room for creative freedom and empowerment, which is precisely what makes lesbian fashion so incredibly attractive and sexy.”
Leeuw is particularly interested in the Golden Age of Hollywood, and how stars including Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Tallulah Bankhead, Katharine Hepburn, and Joan Crawford (among others) expressed their queerness at the time. In contemporary fashion, she looks to Martine Rose, The Frankie Shop, Acne Studios, Dries Van Noten, and Daily Paper for her own personal inspiration. Right now, she’s enjoying playing with masculine styles, wearing jerseys, men’s blazers, and oversized jeans, which she accessorizes with lots of jewelry, and counts Dietrich, Arlo Parks, and George Michael as her queer style icons.
“For me, queer joy in fashion means celebrating your identity through fashion as an act of self-empowerment. That’s what makes fashion and self-expression so enjoyable and empowering and something to celebrate,” Leeuw says. “The older I get, the more confident I become in embracing my true self, and clothing and fashion are part of that journey.”