Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear
Jeremy Scott is angry. That isn’t a tone one generally associates with this most playful of designers, but it’s plain that November’s presidential election results have gotten Scott good-and-hopping mad. It wasn’t just the front-of-house worker bees clad in Scott-designed shirts with the numbers of congressmen printed on the back that clued you into his current mood; the collection on the shag-carpeted runway had a furious undercurrent, too. With its tips of the hat to Michael Jackson, Vegas-era Elvis, and Jesus, Scott was making a point about celebrity worship—he conceded as much backstage after the show—and for all the collection’s sparkle and frill, his point seemed to be: Kill Yr Idols.
Or, at the very least, don’t elect them to high office. That eye-catching man in the gold-sequined pants, he may look a vision, but he probably has the mental capacity of the cartoon character that appears on his tee, the one expelling toxic green steam out of the top of his head. If Scott’s message here was discernible, it was hardly overt; indeed, there was something genuinely radical in the way he flipped his fears about our new administration around, responding to the potential for a crackdown on liberties by claiming space for fun. As much fun as possible. As much fun as an American is free to have. The bedazzled country star leather, the showgirl fringe, the vaguely mother’s-little-helper pill polka dots, the hot pink velvet and the heaps of that scrunched chiffon used in peignoir trim—all this came across as defiant, more so even than the military-inspired anoraks or hippie-ish patchwork leather and distressed denim. It was like the sartorial equivalent of that LGBTQ dance party in front of Mike Pence’s house. This is what freedom looks like, Scott seemed to be saying, in his own ludic vernacular.
And then, as noted, there was Jesus. The savior’s face opened the show, gazing out from the legs of a pair of flared velvet trousers worn by Gigi Hadid, and recurred numerous times in both adult and infant form (cradled, in the latter instance, by an intarsia-knit Madonna.) The fact that Scott’s Jesus was cribbed from souvenir rugs may lead other interpreters of this collection to believe he was spitting on Christianity, but throughout his career Scott has warmed to tacky references, so that surely wasn’t the idea. Rather, he seemed to be pursuing a deeper theme, one bound up with the collection’s vivid sexuality. This was a catwalk full of Strip hustlers and boudoir bunnies, and taken together with the Jesus riff, these motifs suggested that Scott was thinking a lot about solace, and the places one finds it. Maybe you find it in a portrait of Christ. Maybe you find it in a one-night-lover’s bed. For now, at least, that’s your choice.