It is no secret that I think much of Jeremy Scott’s work, particularly in the 2010s, is derivative (to be generous about it). Since becoming the creative director of Moschino in 2013, he was tasked with revitalizing the brand with the youth culture and cool cachet it had in the early 1990s. He got the youth part kinda right, but to what end?
So far, Scott has brought the “cool” by imbuing the line with near-universally recognizable corporate branding: Barbie (harking back to an earlier Scott collection), McDonalds, Spongebob Squarepants and, with the Fall 2015 collection that Katy Perry’s modeling in her new ads, Looney Tunes—basically drawing on the heartfelt and pure memories of every kid who loved Space Jam and selling our vintage nostalgia back to us at a 2000 percent markup.
But whatever, those are just logos, and ironic consumerism is, in itself, very ‘90s—and of course fashion is self-referential, particularly in an era of such strong revivalism, though I think there is a difference between referring to a style and just xeroxing it wholesale. The part where it seems particularly craven is the way Scott drew on those self-same hip-hop styles and presented them as though they were fresh, without context, often in a way that is corny. See above, the Krylon graffiti dress and handbag Perry wore to the Met Gala this year (for some reason), which is modeled in what appears to be just about the the last corner of North Williamsburg (Southern Queens?) that remains unsullied by venomous condominiums and graffiti cleaners. (I am very glad they did not find my apartment building.)
Is this Ridgewood? My main problem is that these looks feel forced; while Perry is giving her best Lisa Stansfield here, and the slouch of the jorts is practically stamped out from a 1992 Seventeen spread, the graff jacket and handbag emit the wannabe hip-hop vapors the same way white male music critics became obsessed with “posing in rap stance” a couple years back. It’s thirsty.
Triple Fat Goose by way of Lil Kim. Props to Scott for capitalizing on the popularity of the Moncler and Helly Hansen puffers and the discontinuation of the Marmot Biggie, though. He really does pay attention to what young black and Latino kids are doing.
This look is nigh verbatim what Lil Kim, Mary J. Blige, Faith Evans and company wore in the mid-to-late ‘90s. There’s an element of costuming here that just leaves me kind of dead inside—which, I suppose, can be extended as an overall critique of Jeremy Scott’s designs, which always seem to be more about performativity than creativity, fueled by how cool we all think he is. And I can’t really buy into it.
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