Like the muddy boundaries and rules that are currently disrupting the art world, the same can be said for fashion too. Some may claim that such disruptions has truly ushered fashion forward, democratising it. After all, this is the era where even a brick can be considered as a covetable fashion item that people actually queued up for. Isn’t it heartening to know that a piece of water pipe or a patch of cat fur has an actual chance to make it big in the fashion realm?
And as such, childlike but ultimately humorous and cutesy cartoon characters have also made their way into the consciousness of those who consume fashion. For his latest collection, Tities Sapoetra teamed up with Nickelodeon and delivered 32 looks for his eponymous label that featured the beloved SpongeBob SquarePants. If the name Tities Saputra sounds familiar, it’s because you may have seen the ex-actor on your TV screen before. Fast-forward to today, Tities has since left the entertainment industry behind and jumped into the pond of fashion.
What transpired is a collection that really doesn’t need much speculation on how it would turn out right from the beginning. There’s SpongeBob on the front of a shirt, sleeves of jacket and the back of a coat. With a source of inspiration like SpongeBob, the only way to do this collection is to amp up the silliness and celebrates its kitschiness unapologetically, which Tities did.
But the designer limits the appearance of the character to just the upper torso and kept the bottom half clean and straightforward. Plus, for variation, Tities also uses other elements, like pineapple and “SpongeBob” text as motif. And of course, an actual SpongeBob mascot was sent down the runway where it took the time waving enthusiastically as 90 percent of the audience fished out their phone for a snap. Disruption of fashion, remember?
Perhaps, Tities should have spent more time in making sure the collection was cohesive as a whole. There were three conflicting styles that are more jarring than SpongeBob itself. They first came out beachwear inspired, and switched to sleepwear then back again to the former before taking a formal turn with obi belt thrown into the mix. And unfortunately, the looks also suffered from the poor fabric selection.
It’s clear with this collection that you’ll either love it or hate it. Those who hate it will detest its intentional implementation of bad taste while the other camp will enjoy it for its complete disregard for prestige. So who’s right and who’s wrong? Silly Billy, it’s the democratisation of fashion and such question doesn’t matter anymore.