Needing a little extra colour in your life? Tyler The Creator’s Golf Wang debut will guarantee to lift your mood and transport you into a virtual reality where it’s cool for boys to wear pink.
Most individuals recognise Tyler, The Creator for his musical contributions as a solo rapper and leader of alternative hip hop collective Odd Future. Alongside his musical talents however, lies a strong passion for producing innovative street wear under his label Golf Wang. While the brand has been operating since its launch in 2011, this fashion event marked the debut of Golf Wang on the runway, and as to be expected, the show certainly didn’t go unnoticed.
The event premiered as a MADE fashion affair in LA earlier this month. As the large crowd gathered in a dimly lit room, simply illuminated by a bright projector screen of a cloudy blue sky; a trance dreamlike orchestra played in the background. The pitch-black stage soon sprung to life with a green polka-dot bedspread occupying the feature screen. To the left was a stage set that correlated with the screen, as we watched Tyler the Creator awaken from under the polka dots and commence a morning routine.
After an entertaining montage a ‘knock on the door’ finally launched the runway show, as Tyler opened a yellow door to a gathering of forthcoming male models on miniature dirt bikes. The runway lit up to reveal a circular path surrounded by a monstrous synthetic garden of roses and sunflowers.
While the show featured both male and female models of different ages, sizes and ethnicities, the brand itself takes on a very androgynous aesthetic. The collection featured staple street wear pieces from varsity-inspired jackets, polo shirts, hoodies, and caps in every colour; while there still remained the occasional standout pieces from some bright blue dungarees to a rainbow striped blazer.
While the brand only showcased staple street wear pieces, it’s the lifestyle that is represented so beautifully, that brings fashion back down to earth in a playful way, which celebrates youth culture. Even the brand name somewhat ‘takes the piss’ out of the elitist fashion industry and the preppy aesthetic that Golf Wang reinvents. And no one symbolises this better than the man behind the label, as Tyler walked around the catwalk interacting with models and mocking the structured confinements of a traditional fashion show.
Some highlights in the show saw the male models skating up and down a skate ramp in the middle of the runway as the show went on. We were also lucky enough to be graced by Tyler The Creator’s musical talents as he opened the stage rapping in a sequinned polo shirt that visually danced like a disco ball on the otherwise dark stage.
The bright yellow runway had me reminiscing on a childhood mantra “follow the yellow brick road”. The fantastical, almost sickening colour explosion that never ends leads you drawing bizarre parallels like a Wizard of Oz meets Straight Outta Compton lunch special. The animated stage set combined with the swag-riddled street wear alluded to an almost childlike fabrication that represents a virtual reality.
Many would argue that the show was far-fetched and over the top, which at times is plausible. As humorous as the dramatic montages are throughout the show, the collection and stage set combined is strong enough to carry the message across on its own, however the pure devotion to the event and the brand from Tyler speaks for itself.
A truly touching commencement to the show was his thank you to the audience for their support in his creative vision: “Growing up as an inner city black kid I wasn’t the most masculine, I wasn’t into sports, I liked pink and shit… growing up liking pinks and colours and patterns wasn’t cool, but luckily I had people around me who trusted me and didn’t judge me.” After which he perfectly summed up the ideology behind the brand: “I don’t really know shit about fashion, I just like making clothes just like I like making music”.
During the show we caught a brief glimpse of Tyler the Creators new footwear brand, Golf Le Fleur, launching at the end of the year. This was given more attention at the end of the event when Kanye West handed Tyler a mystery envelope, disclosing that everyone in the crowd would get a free pair of shoes, creating an Oprah Winfrey deja vu.
All in all, the boy who was afraid to wear pink has finally made it to the big leagues in a colourful statement that brings fashion back down to ground level, for which street wear and the everyday consumer will be eternally grateful.