Tyler, the Creator’s Golf Wang Show was like Pleasantville for Skaters
They say not to judge a book by its cover, but isn’t it a relief when you can? In the two hours that led up to MADE LA‘s Golf Wang show, that was sort of the impression I got—that Tyler, The Creator’s new line stays unwaveringly true to its name: one part preppy golf wear, one part Tyler’s skateboarding-heavy, fuck-shit-up collective (Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All). From the meager sample of his design skills that we’ve been offered in the past couple years—socks, mostly—it’s easy to write off Tyler’s line as amateur before even seeing it. What Tyler managed to so brilliantly do, however, was to take that expectation, and own it. This was high-grade amateur—like a cartoon or a video game, created by and starring Tyler, come to life.
A beatific atmosphere pervaded the room even before the show began, what with the Alabama Shakes echoing throughout, the soothing, sky-like video displayed on the enormous screen backlighting the stage, and the turf-like material coating the floor. Add to the endless droves of kids that came pouring in—beaucoup de Supreme, trop de Vans—and, if I hadn’t been wearing my glasses, I could’ve very well been back in middle school.
The show started unlike any other fashion show: with Tyler waking up in bed, and then going about a morning routine in which everything—from his clothes, toothbrush, sink, and towel, to his bedding and life-sized backpack-cum-closet—was Golf Wang. Then a doorbell rang, and out came a succession of models on mini motorized bikes, skateboards, and on foot—some part of the Odd Future collective, some just really good at Instagram. If this was a fine-tuned depiction of Tyler’s cartoon-like fantasy world, then the clothes that inhabited it fit in swimmingly. There were tracksuits, baseball jerseys, bathrobes, Hawaiian-like shirts specked with inflated sunflowers, light blue logo-ridden sweaters tied around necks and waists, and—a favorite—white and green furry coats bearing cute, colorful designs on the back.
After the last look, Tyler reemerged in an iridescent, short-sleeve button-down, and started rapping about not being a criminal; identity is something Tyler has always struggled with. “Growing up an inner city black kid, I wasn’t very masculine or into sports and I liked the color pink,” he said. He admits that he may not know a ton about fashion, but he knows what he likes. And right now? “I like making clothes.” For anyone who’s ever questioned Tyler’s popularity, seeing him perform live should clear up any doubts. More than anything, Tyler is inspiring—in his goals and in his tenacity. Before dipping out, he solicited the help of Mr. Kanye West for one more announcement. “You all get free shoes! You get a shoe! And you get a shoe! And you get a shoe!” he said, running around the stage, feigning Oprah. It was funny, but also pretty apt.
Stay tuned to Milk for more from MADE LA.