Who Was Charles Guyette?
That question is also the title of the third chapter in this volume. It starts on page 128 after 127 pages of reproduced photos and ads from the G-String King, Charles Guyette and various other fake names he utilized. Born in Somerville, MA in 1902, the Godfather of American Fetish Art died in summer of 1976. After he was sent to Federal prison for a year and one day, he adopted several aliases in order to hide his identity. That’s one of the reasons so little information about the man and his life.
For this reader/reviewer the most interesting photograph in the book is reprinted from the November 27, l943 “Collier’s Magazine.” That portrait shows Guyette making G-Strings in his shop and the background shows a selection of his designs. The second photograph of Guyette is dated Sept. 1948 and shows him with a tape measure measuring the distance from a partially clad model’s shoulder to her pasty covered nipple. Those are the only two actual photos of the man who brought fetish from Europe to the United States.
“The period of greatest notoriety for Guyette, at least as a marketer of photographs, was from 1931 to 1935. It was during this time that he openly contributed and advertised in the globally-distributed, fetish friendly magazine, ‘London Life,’ during which time his personal interest evidently expanded from circus and carnival sideshow material to European-style fetish art.” Guyette had a life-long fascination with the circus, freak shows and carnivals.
Chapter 5, was a reprint of the Jan. 19, 1944 New York Post Article by Earl Wilson called “Charley the G—String Man Explains His Business.” The article is very amusingly helped out by quotes from Guyette. “I suspect that G-String Charley is the hero of some wonderfully romantic story involving a G-string queen, and that is why he makes G-strings. When suggested this, Charley, who’s unmarried, said, ‘God forbid, that’s the last thing I want, them dames.’”
This is a well-research volume. The fact the subject had to keep a low profile to avoid going to jail again, made the researching on his life, ridiculously difficult. The author did a good job and the volume includes hundreds of photographs of Guyette’s creations and advertisements. It’s interesting to see the fetish styles over the years beginning in the 1930’s. It’s hard to understand how custom-made thigh-high leather stockings provided the sexual stimulation that they obviously did.
- Paperback: 206 pages
- Publisher: Createspace Independent Pub; 2 edition (7 January 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1973773775
- ISBN-13: 978-1973773771
- Product Dimensions: 19 x 1.2 x 23.5 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 381 g
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- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)