Are you experiencing news fatigue? The ante keeps upping, and yet… The British Parliament re-enacts the start of the English Civil War, live on BBC. Whatevs. President Trump makes a Sharpie extension of a hurricane’s radius as an entire island in the Bahamas is washed away; there are memes. Shrug. Joe Biden’s eye begins to bleed during a seven-hour CNN marathon on climate change: What else is on TV? No matter how apocalyptic or idiotic, or both, current events these days have the cumulative effect of making you want to book a seat on one of those Space X capsules, and shoot yourself straight into stratosphere. Which seems—in a good way—to be the vibe Jeremy Scott was picking up on this season.
This Scott outing was a delicious escapist treat. Scott admitted as much himself, speaking before the show: With this collection, he said, he was out to “have fun,” and with that agenda in mind, he concocted what he described as a “neon rock opera.” A bit heavy metal, a bit rockabilly, a lot New Wave—there was a strong whiff of ’80s cult classic film Liquid Sky—and extremely kitschy sci-fi, Scott’s collection more or less dispensed with anything that might be humdrum about a garment and instead aimed to jam as much excitement into every item of clothing as humanly possible. There were zebra-striped bouffant frocks in electric colors, psychedelic Hawaiian print menswear ensembles, color-spattered foil blazers and coats, metallic leather mini-dresses… The list goes on. Scott’s farthest flights of fancy were either his hallucinogenic pieces with silver tubes twisting around them like snakes, or others concocted from patch-worked panties—it just depends whether you prefer your fancy surreal or silly, take your pick.
There was so much to look at here it was hard to parse: At a certain point, you stopped noting facts such as, say, that Scott was willy-nilly mashing up biker gear and Western wear, and gave in to the endorphin rush he’d set out to induce. What didn’t escape notice, however, was the serious craftsmanship that went into these clothes, witnessed in everything from the curving trim on some of his eye-popping tailoring, to the chainmail pieces that glittered like disco balls. Was this show un-serious? Pointedly so. But escapism needn’t be read as a form of giving up: After all, when you’re staring down a dead end, escape is how you find your way out.