Admittedly, I’m not a fan of Jeremy Scott’s brand of comedic fashion. His debut collection hybridised McDonald’s, teaming it with the Moschino logo and Chanel codes—the collection was complete with cow prints, trays and uniform dresses. There was a 90s hip-hop element to that collection also, a caricature of the movement. Spongebob, Pop Tarts and punk also took a bow by the end of that one. If the intent was to stir, he did just that. He’s been influenced by Barbie (It was surprising to not see Ken, amplifying the already heteronormative notions of the house), styling her in bubblegum pink and abbreviated mini skirts. Looney Tunes, spray-painted gowns, tongue-in-cheek consumerism ploys, race-car driving and aristocracy—there is an endless list of kitschy references to pick from, ones that were literally explored, with a 60s sensibility, by Scott throughout his tenure.
Scott is a showman and proof that fashion is, above all, entertainment for the masses. His designs have bled into non-fashion-industry circles too, with his accessible (in comparison to the cost of ready-to-wear) iPhone cases. McDonald’s fries anyone? You’ve no doubt seen one of these cases floating about.
The approach Scott has to fashion is fascinating. Primarily, he pokes fun at it, mocks, laughs, all the while creating witty clothing that sells like hotcakes. This critic looks upon it pejoratively, but this season there was something about his Spring 2017 collection that struck a chord with me. It commented on the world around us, as dictated by social media’s rule—arguably his most socially aware endeavour yet. The show opened with supermodel Gigi Hadid in a gown with a paper doll print. The doll on her gown was wearing black lingerie, her waist, legs and heels undefined—a 2-D caricature. More cartoonish characters followed, the white foldable tabs poking out behind polka dot shirts, red jackets and secretarial-inspired dresses.
How was this socially aware? We live our lives on social media, on a 4 inch, 2-D screen. These clothes were set to reflect that. We read, see, purchase, live and breath online. Newspapers like the Independent were once thriving publications but the rise of the internet made them rethink, switching to online only. Magazines have come and gone, subjecting themselves to the harsh print market. Print isn’t dead, I’m a firm believer of that, but the internet has made that difficult. As well as that, the majority of customers who purchase something from this collection will do so online, a two dimensional reality. And although this collection was presented in a bubbly and exciting format, there are harsh truths at the centre of this collection.
There were many strange, thoroughly unlikable points to this collection. There’s the archaic depiction of women, who have literally been made into dolls this season; there is the cartoonish prints that belong in River Island and H&M, not high fashion; the outdated, boring, sexualised 60s filter that Scott clearly finds insatiable. But the if that had been edited out, this collection would’ve been a much more profound outing. It might’ve even bought Scott some favourability from the fashion press.
We shouldn’t be curious as to who’s buying an oversized t-shirt dress with a teddy bear print or medicine-inspired garb. There are many willing customers out there that will march to the doors of the flagships worldwide. Despite my opinions, it was fascinating to see the hopeless pandering to Generation Z meet a riveting commentary on the current state of the world.
Photo Credit: voguerunway.com