Being a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment is one of those things that almost rarely gives you anything back. You give your time and love to the characters of that company only to see them abused, denigrated by their employers and fans, and eventually left to wither and die in obscurity for daring to challenge the WWE machine. It is a challenge, year after year, to resolve one’s love of sports entertainment with one’s understanding of how workers should be treated. But, every once in a while, a tiny crumb is thrown out to the viewing audience that makes it impossible to look away. This year, that crumb has come in the form of Seth Rollins’s latest reincarnation as The Drip Gawd.
What WWE lacks in moral fiber, it makes up for in spectacle and a huge part of that has always been the costuming. Every truly iconic wrestler has a distinct look: Hulk Hogan and his feather boa, Rick and Charlotte Flair’s robes, Chyna who practically invented the concept of a casual, full leather ensemble.
Then there’s Seth Rollins, who has never had a definitive solo gimmick, but is finally coming into legend status by way of an absolutely unhinged and oddly beautiful collection of suits. The suits are so outlandish and so ugly-it’s-almost-pretty that I can’t help but tune in every week with the hopes that I’ll catch a glimpse of these creations before I inevitably go blind from all the colors and the pyrotechnics.
I think about these suits on a nearly daily basis, pondering the mental fortitude it must take not only to wear something this loud but also the sheer volume of creative genius one must possess to find these suits and style this man.
When I think of King Troi, the stylist behind these works of art, I imagine a person who has figured out a way to tap into a portion of the brain that average human beings are unable to access. I mean, look at these things! They’re hideous and yet somehow work. I am enthralled. I am mesmerized. I am reassessing my personal beliefs about fashion as a whole.
The statements the suits themselves are making, removed from Rollins and his Drip Gawd shtick, are bold. They’re loud and announce a person’s presence in a room. They are designed specifically to draw the eye whether it be for admiration or derision; the opinion of the beholder doesn’t really matter. The suits simply are. When you remove the wearer from the suit, it still stands on its own as an art piece. It doesn’t need to be brought to life because it possesses life within its threads. There are whole human beings who are less alive than some of these suits, and really that’s their appeal. They’re a visual shock to the system. A tangible representation of the philosophical question: are you living or just surviving?