A homage to the high prince of American art, Keith Haring, at Coach this afternoon. Him of the squiggles. His was, and is for that matter, art that makes people happy – you can’t not be when you’re looking at his work. It’s artistic prozac. So Stuart’s latest felt upbeat. He dedicated the show to American dreamers – “their endless spirit of possibility, boundless creativity and the courage to be themselves,” the Brit designer said via the pre-show notes. Set was a total sparkle-fest – 80s NYC covered in hundreds of thousands of bits of glitter, including a car that sat right in the middle. Lots of sparkle shot through the collection, too – there were glittery dresses and skirts, shimmery boots, lines of shine that ran down the outside leg of the pants. “Tough and tender,” Vevers called it – that was the tender part, so too the girlish prairie-doll dresses or lacey silk nighties, the “tough” coming through with burnished leather and shearling, biker jackets and cowboy shirting. Of course, Haring’s work brought it all together, some of his drawings enlarged and emblazoned, logo-like across t-shirts and sweaters, some shrunk and repeated, making optical swirls and patterns. But there was a message here too if you looked hard enough – Haring is perhaps most well known for the AIDs activists ACT UP’s posters that he created in the Eighties, a time when the gay community in New York, and America, was ignored and oppressed under the hands of then president Reagan. Sound familiar? So this became a bit of a hymn for the dispossessed – and what better time for that than in America, and now?
by Jack Moss
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans