A giant, animatronic pink dinosaur on the runway flicking its tail at the front row; “Jurassic Park” and Hello Kitty collaborations; Kawaii-meets-Hawaii surfer, stripper, safari, bunny, Eighties and Nineties inspirations.
It was a lot to take in, and infantilizing models by putting them in pigtails and blanking out their eyes with black contact lenses was a questionable choice for the enlightened year of 2019, no matter the motivation. But it was Saturday night in Milan and the four-year-old streetwear brand GCDS appears to be rolling in the dough with a new makeup line and flagships opening soon.
Giuliano Calza showed a collection with a little something for everyone — if you’re committed to showing off. There were Eighties body-con bathing suits of the “Baywatch” babe era, including a sexy combo of high-cut bikini bottom over bike shorts worn low on the hips to expose a bit of hip cleavage. For the guys: neon color-block shell suits, mesh shorts and shirts spoke to the same era. (And yes, there was a men’s bikini, too, in blazing neon orange with “K-Hawaii” stamped on the butt.)
Meanwhile, a Nineties rainbow rave print turned up on a man’s anorak worn with track pants and sneakers, and a woman’s puff-sleeve crop top and short-shorts getup, as well as accenting the black nylon shell suit that was one of the cleanest looks.
The “Jurassic Park” tie-in brought logo crop tops, T-shirts, ranger hats and knee-high neon boots, and presumably inspired the Army green sweatshirt and shorts that looked like they had been mauled by the reptile in the middle of the runway. Also in the pop culture pantheon were Hello Kitty (sexy kitty) thigh-high boots, worn with a crop top and micro-mini embroidered with cutesy characters. (Not your little sister’s Sanrio.)
Leaning more toward the sportswear realm were men’s bowling shirts and bleached-out jeans; women’s denim pants fringed like a gigolo’s chaps; ruffled crop tops; nylon track pants and high-low dresses in a manga comics print.
But most of all, it was about selling the GCDS (God Can’t Destroy Streetwear) logo on everything from Lego-like minaudière handbags and pool slides to the gold charms dangling from models’ fingernails.
None of it was particularly novel, but if Calza can dial up the cleverness quotient (plush bunny slide sandals and ranger hats sporting tiny ears were a start) he could be on a similar path to stardom as Jeremy Scott, who parlayed his own spin on streetwear into a multiyear Adidas collaboration and eventually a gig at luxury house Moschino.