'Evolution To Revolution' As New York Fashion Week Gets Political
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
New York's Fashion Week begins today. And while Ivanka Trump is the one in her family with a fashion line, it's her father President Trump who is inadvertently driving the trends. Some of the world's top designers are showcasing their opposition to the administration. Jeremy Scott, the creative director for Moschino, started musing on the political moment with his collection last fall.
JEREMY SCOTT: I really was thinking about this kind of dystopian future. I really wanted to kind of show that it is a call to arms. And there was a lot of military influences. There was a lot of guerrilla warfare-inspired pieces.
INSKEEP: And Friday night, he debuts a new collection that's no less political.
SCOTT: I've been thinking a lot about how we worship celebrity, and how we have Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and Jesus all on the same playing field. That is really the same situation what's happened to our politics, that we have elected a celebrity.
INSKEEP: From his studio in New York, Jeremy Scott spoke with our colleague David Greene. And before we continue the conversation, here's a warning - some language in here may be offensive to listeners.
DAVID GREENE, HOST:
Just listening to you describe some of this - military-style clothing, call to arms - do you worry that some of those things look a little alarmist?
SCOTT: No, I do not worry about it. I think that he has given us a great gift. I will give Donald that very important honor, is that he has brought people together. He's woke us up. Honestly, we were like little kids pooping and peeing on ourselves and daddy Obama was, like, cleaning up and changing our diapers.
SCOTT: And now we're all middle-aged...
GREENE: That's quite an image.
SCOTT: ...You know, with, you know, three kids, a mortgage, trying to raise people on our own and juggling three jobs. I mean, it's - we went from evolution to revolution overnight.
GREENE: Well, let me ask you about a couple of your items. There's a T-shirt that says our voice is the only thing that will protect us on the front, and then you have numbers for lawmakers in Congress on the back. Is that part of the message that mobilizing does not just mean wearing your clothing, but you have to make phone calls and make your voice heard to the people who represent you?
SCOTT: That's why I made the T-shirt is to hopefully inspire other people, that we do - as an American citizen - we have a right to call. We have a right to demand to be heard. These people work for us.
GREENE: Do you see your designs reaching people who disagree with you?
SCOTT: I don't really debate that or think about that. My point is if I can motivate anybody else to be active, to perhaps make a call, who will hopefully inspire someone else to call.
GREENE: But I guess I just wonder if you're, say, someone who lost a manufacturing job in Wisconsin, are you as a, you know, a high-priced fashion designer the right messenger to try and win him or her over?
SCOTT: I may not be. And I'm not trying to be the messenger for everyone. I'm trying to be the messenger for the people that pay attention to me. And those people I want to help inspire because a lot of people maybe think it's - they're too cool for school. That's all I can ever do. I mean, I feel bad for those people that have that issue, but I don't think that he's going to bring back those kind of jobs that are just really disappearing period.
GREENE: Do the runway shows - does it feel different right now because of the political backdrop?
SCOTT: You have to as an individual process it through your art if you express your work through an artistic manner like myself. And I think you'll see a lot more of it coming from a lot of people because that's really the state of, you know, the mind. The mass psychosis that happened to over half the nation is, you know, it's still settling in, frankly.
(SOUNDBITE OF GMPRESENTS' PERFORMANCE OF ELLIE GOULDING SONG, "BURN")
INSKEEP: Designer Jeremy Scott speaking with our own David Greene. Scott's latest collection premieres tomorrow night. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.