On Friday, the same day the New York Post’s “Bezos Exposes Pecker” headline pushed that paper’s pop-culture cachet to new heights, it found itself making a memorable mark on the fashion world thanks to fashion’s clown prince Jeremy Scott’s tabloid-newspaper-inspired collection.
The Post’s name and screaming all-caps style, along with that of fellow Gotham tab New York Daily News, appeared on black-and-white pieces throughout Scott’s eponymous fall and winter 2019 runway show. Both a literal and figurative “ripped from the headlines” collection, it was done in collaboration with artist Aleksandra Mir, who created hand-drawn renderings plucked from both papers’ covers.
“Scott believes that we are mired in the onslaught of sensational and earth-shattering headlines: we are witnesses, victims, and perpetrators of the unending news cycle,” read the post-show notes. “Scott uses this stark and blatant imagery as a rebuttal to our collective obsession with salacious headlines, false scenarios and click-bait drama that incite tensions and ultimately divide us — not only in the political sphere, but in pop culture as well.”
The clothes coming down the runway Friday perfectly mimicked the way today’s news is presented — headline after headline moving at such a clip that was only possible to read and retain the barest of curiosity-inducing snippet before another one took its place. Among the words emblazoned over everything from leather jackets to overalls to voluminous ball gowns were “May 23, 1993,” “Andy Warhol,” “chaos,” ‘Marilyn’s dresses ripped off,” and “Sicko.”
In addition to being a perfectly timed commentary on what passes for news these days, the stripped back color palette and graphics limited to Mir’s handiwork allowed the focus to fall on Scott’s silhouettes — fitted bustiers paired with multilayered tulle skirts, puffer coats layered over sequin-festooned tops, see-through vinyl trench coats (a bid for transparency in the news, perhaps?), biker jackets, and leather or denim pieces that seamlessly transition from overalls to boots to name just a few.
From our point of view, though, the collection’s true headline-making pieces were the two slip dresses and a halter top that came down the catwalk toward the end of the show. Consisting of the jarring newspaper graphics printed on Swarovski crystal mesh, the slinky garments were so lightweight they trembled, shimmered and swayed with each step. And, just like the tabloid headlines of the day, they were impossible to ignore.
For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn