Today, Public School showed yet another strong menswear collection, but this time, creative directors Maxwell Osbourne and Dao-Yi Chow attempted to make a bit of a political statement during the presentation. They put models (which included male style maven Nick Wooster) in a rendering of a police lineup setting to showcase the clothes and also as a comment on America’s criminal justice system.
“We wanted to show unity and that everybody is the same when lined up next to one another,” Chow told WWD. This would be a valid point were it not for the harsh truth that to the criminal justice system, we are not all the same. Unity is a beautiful thing and there is a place for that, but the fact of the matter is that the American criminal justice system disproportionately targets black and Latino men and it’s a reality that a lot of people are uncomfortable facing. This notion of everyone being the same, while it is fundamentally true, kind of glosses over and dilutes the heart of the issue.
Still, one can argue that the display was a comment on humanity in general, rather than the criminal justice system. But using a police lineup was perhaps not the best way to demonstrate the concept when police brutality is making headlines across America.
But hey, at least the display was thought-provoking and the clothes themselves a delight to look at.