By definition, kitsch is the pleasurable acceptance of bad taste. And Mexico City is proof that kitsch is a pleasurable and inextricable part of Mexican urban culture. Cabs have dashboards covered in purple plush, pailletted baby shoes and multicolored rosaries dangling from rear-view mirrors, as well as neon-framed license plates that light up every time the driver brakes. The city’s stoplights are alive with plumed Aztec dancers, rattling their shelled legs as they hop among the cars, competing for tips with hawkers selling Chinese parasols, dead rubber chickens and homemade cookies. In almost every cantina, the Guadalupana, the name for the patron Virgin of all Mexicans, patiently oversees alcoholic excess from ledges surrounded by plastic and acrylic flowers. She also lends her image and name to soaps, candles and all kinds of mom-and-pop stores, no licensing fee required. And lately she has become a fashion icon appliquéd in multicolored paillettes to plastic market bags, T-shirts, hairpins and denim jackets. In small boutiques, the Virgin keeps good company with souvenir silver and gold wrestlers’ masks, now more popular than ever since the idolized El Santo has been licensed by his son. The revered silver mask can be found on T-shirts, mugs, scarves and all sorts of caps, while his campy movies are making a comeback. El Santo walks again as fashion branding meets piracy and illegal copycat products flood the streets and are hawked at bus stops.
The joys of such garishness are not lost on a generation of young consumers who have taken street kitsch and made it part of their lifestyles. They mix it with colorful Mexican textiles, traditional embroideries and authentic handcrafted clothes to create a totally new freewheeling fashion look that can be found at small, off-the-wall boutiques, including El Milagrito, Clinica and Trend, all in the very hip Condesa district. This style shows up, too, in itinerant fashion markets that settle in different parts of the city over the weekends, creating venues for new young designers in parks, old houses, underground bars and other public spaces.
Today, modern societies have gone global, and Mexico’s young consumers are as mall-oriented as most young people around the world. However, these consumers who identify with kitsch culture are creating an urban trend as they adapt it to their clothes, creating amusing outfits that blend street lore with handcrafts and the inevitable today-ness of branded sneakers. When Virgins and wrestlers have come and gone, there will still be the endless inspiration of Mexico’s different indigenous cultures morphing into urban bad taste that will keep kitsch à la mexicaine alive, well and pleasurable. —Anna Fusoni and Marisol Conover
My character, Dinah Madani, is just the coolest, [most] badass woman imaginable," says @amberroserevah. The actress stars in @marvel's newest series on @netflix, @thepunisher. To prepare for her role, Revah sat down with Homeland agents to get a real sense of with Dinah's day-to-day life is really like. Read our full interview on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
A scene from the 91st annual @macys Thanksgiving Day Parade. The parade, which boasts 50 million TV viewers and 3.5 million on-site spectators, is considered one of the largest and most watched parades in the world. (📷: Jason Szenes/EPA-REX)
The circus came to @bloomingdales 59th Street on Tuesday night and lit up Lexington Avenue with acrobatic dancers, death-defying knife throwing, sword swallowing and aerial acts with no net. The 45 minutes of theatrics built up to unveiling the holiday windows depicting @swarovski crystal-encrusted circus pieces and scenes from “The Greatest Showman” – songs from the soundtrack included. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Joshua Scott)
The psychedelic fashion that pervaded the ’60s is back with an exhibit at the @museumofcityny. “Mode New York: Fashion Takes a Trip” chronicles the changing styles from 1960 through 1973 and features designers such as @ysl, @oscardelarenta and more. The exhibition, which is on display through April 1, is organized into four periods: First Lady Fasion, Youthquake, New Bohemia and New Nonchalance. Pictured here is model Pat Bardonella during the Garvey Day Parade in 1968. (📷: @kwamebphoto) #wwdeye #wwdfashion
“People should be a lot more honest in expressing both the dark and light of themselves. We need to give each other the space to do that because it’s the only way we can grow and evolve,” says @noelwells of her new film “Mr. Roosevelt,” which is largely based on her own struggles. Unexpectedly leaving @nbcsnl in 2014 after just one season, Wells felt set back in her self-esteem and career trajectory. She quickly refocused her energy to more personal projects, which led to the completion of “Mr. Roosevelt.” Read the rest of WWD’s interview with the “Master of None” actress on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
@barbrastreisand is giving fans a chance to see her perform up close in a new concert series, which makes its debut on @Netflix today. From behind-the-scenes takes to her concert performance in Miami last December, the two-hour streaming special captures Streisand in her element. Pictured here is the singer/actress photographed for WWD in 1963. (📷: Palmieri Tony) #wwdeye #wwdarchive
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)