To the surprise of no one, the introduction of Jeremy Scott’s Spring – Summer 2014 collection was not only a fashion show – but also an italicized event. On Tuesday afternoon, Milk was flooded with the whimsical designer’s fans (turquoise hair, shirts with blinking lights, back-turned printed snapbacks) and a high-profile front row that included Nicki Minaj, Paris Hilton, Iggy Azalea, A$AP Rocky, Terry Richardson and a pair of Jonas brothers.

Although bouffant hairdos and music from Michel Gaubert that included The Chordettes’ “Mr. Sandman” and The Angels’ “My Boyfriend’s Back” conjured the 1950s, the collection was not steeped in predictable neo-classicism. SS14 unveiled a bubblegum-pink patent leather jacket, leopard prints and frequent permutations of a nefarious-looking cartoon Martian’s face. There were lots of perforations, extraneous zippers and color-blocking with pastel colors and black. “There’s this nostalgia, but at the same time, it’s a little bit sinister,” said Scott, while greeting admirers backstage after the show. “You’re not really quite sure if there’s a dark undertone with all the jet black hair and almost a little S&M at times.”

Scott re-envisioned the Beat Generation with the help of an icon from a different era: Pop-artist Kenny Scharf contributed three prints to the collection. “He’s one of my favorite artists and an unsung hero,” said Scott. “I wanted to do this love letter to him and the early 80s, New York Lower East Side scene that was growing up. It was him and Keith and Basquiat and all their friends. The things they were doing, the places they were going, the furniture they were sitting on—I wanted to encompass that whole lifestyle and bring that to life.”

In the opinion of the front row luminaries, Scott’s attempts at resurrection were successful. “I thought it was so great,” said Leigh Lezark from The Misshapes, who are DJing Scott’s after party. “His shows are always so much fun. I’ve been friends and fans of him for a very long time. Just seeing his progression—I mean, his front-of-the-house is getting insane. Everybody wants a piece of Jeremy, but he really stays true to himself.” Most telling of her commitment to Scott: “I wouldn’t put on a leather bra for anyone.”

Photos by Drew Levin and Raymond Croft

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