When millenials online aren’t arguing with teenagers and each other about the importance of their beloved skinny jeans and side parts, those same teenagers and the more fashion-bent millenials and are calling for a return to early ‘aughts fashion, when low-rise jeans ruled, everything was bedazzled, and hot pinks and feathers and faux fur were all red carpet musts.
So explain to me, then, why everyone collectively banded together to shit all over Doja Cat’s Roberto Cavalli fit, when she was the best and most smartly dressed person on that stupid little red carpet?
As fashion archivist and innovator Rashida Renée correctly pointed out on Twitter last night, Doja Cat was in remixed Roberto Cavalli. Fall/Winter 2003 to be exact, one of the designer’s most widely recognizable and impactful collections.
The collection would go on to inspire just about a dozen copycats and chasers, synthesizing longstanding threads of inspiration from elsewhere on the Italian runways, like Nicolas Ghesquière’s largely cited Balenciaga collection: Spring/Summer 2003, seen on stars like Kylie Minogue and Beyoncé. The same trim and blocking work, which Vogue critic Sarah Mower described as “streamlined city dressing,” is all present in Cavalli’s remix of the trends. But instead of sparse and chic—which the general fashion collective was moving towards later that decade—Cavalli instead chose opulence.
Specifically, neon green ostrich feather coats so large a woman could practically drown in them.
Doja Cat’s look, which remixes dresses and that same fur coat from the collection, is also Fausto Puglisi’s first custom red carpet piece for the house, after its namesake Roberto Cavalli sold off 90 percent of his stake in the company and stepped down in 2015. The sudden departure for the beloved god of Italian fashion sparked a slew of changes at the company, as well as bankruptcy filings, executive turnover, and even union strikes, according to Fashionista. It’s also barely a month since Puglisi launched what he refers to as “Season Zero,” a fresh start for the house, which pulls on past staples like animal prints, hoping to propel them into the future.
If Doja Cat’s look is anything to go on, that future is incredibly bright. Any new creative director can pull from a house’s pre-existing archive, but it takes a genuine innovator to make something brand fucking new out of it.
As for Doja herself, it’s frankly exhilarating to see somehow so new in their run as a pop icon willing to take actual risks. In comparison to the Gucci and Oscar de la Renta and Schiaparelli seen elsewhere on the carpet last night, Doja Cat’s look dares to be ugly. Brilliant, yes, but ugly! I mean, it’s a structured moto jacket dress in eggshell white and boiled egg yellow with a train of neon green ostrich feathers—and matching platform heels to boot! Her tits are unsupported. Her eyebrows are all but nonexistent. Her cut crease and under-eyeliner is harsh, and her mullet dares to have a truly fucked-up bang.
Where her peers went with cutesy and elegant, she chose punk. One doesn’t have to love it by any means, but my god, at least feel thankful there are still pop stars in existence who are totally willing to buck the trends and just wear fuck all whatever.
The next day, it’s not the prim and proper looks everyone is talking about, it’s Doja Cat’s. That, I think, speaks for itself.