We have often questioned the revival and demise of history.
I did so myself, quotably so as Denim is Dead, Long Live Denim. And as if spinning the spindle of time, I found myself walking into a modern house of horrors with a rock-and-roll, lucid and almost dreamlike vibe by John Varvatos for New York Fashion Week Mens (NYFWM).
I first walked in to curtained off rooms with intriguing, omenic soundtracks by the Rolling Stones, and live models dressed up as mannequins, alongside mannequins with political stooges of Trump, Sanders and Clinton projected atop the outfits. On closer look these were adjacent to musicians killed by the record industry, the Pop era, or the political system. Quite a statement, at that, complete with coffins and memorials.
There were brick walls with JV jeans protruding out of them, quotes of rock, education, brick walls, and a Tim Burton style vibe of artistic rebellion in the air. As Varvatos said himself, the world needs more voices and more rebels. Indeed, “We salute individuality, authenticity, freedom and rebellion.”
The thematic rooms continued, with mannequins in horse and zebra heads, or devil style horns and masks. One dapper gentleman in a maroon suit was playing cards, while a lion face wore a bronze tweed jacket. Animals could look dapper, giving the whole wild boy look its propelling ammunition.
There were horses in sheep wool white jackets, eagles in diagonal zipper leather jackets, and zebras in white suits, with pedestals covered in zebra print bags. Whimsy? Most definitely.
There were seedily poised gentlemen with lipstick smeared mirrors or bar backdrops in leather trousers, high top boots, cut gloves and lined jackets. Juxtaposition could never be better articulated in a visual medium.
And of course, amidst it all, the one model without a masque, symbolic of an angel in zebra print with a winged horse behind him.
The collection sent a message out to bringing rock and vinyl back. With the rise of seeking out vintage and grassroots approaches, Varvatos felt that people were buying vinyl, and becoming disruptors in a tech, digital and rapidly moving world. There was promise for history not being shelved, but relived.
Bravo to a statement, and one so bold. The after party was even more ravishing, saturated with sparkling characters, succulent conversations and theatrical antics.