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Private Policy Critiques the 'American Dream' for Spring '18
Where the majority of Americans are exhausted by our country's tumultuous political unrest, New York-based streetwear brand Private Policy dove deep into all things western for spring '18. Helmed by Siying Qu and Haoran Li, both originally from China, Private Policy's analysis felt largely like an outsider's view of United States symbolism, examining the dwindling "American Dream" through a superficial scope of elements our country has become famous for.
Equally a celebration and a critique, Private Policy's Americana range was titled "Trinkets" in an effort to punctuate how small, insignificant things can make up a greater whole. When meeting with the designers a few weeks back, their references for spring '18 were certainly minor, as if glossing over the U.S. landscape and putting a spotlight on overwrought tropes. Their developing moodboard included '70s cowboys (vintage gay porn stars included) and the iconic "Thank You" shopping bag--references American-born citizens have grown to either loathe or happily overlook.
But the result of their research felt intentional when presented during New York Fashion Week: Men's, like a queer, rebellious reclamation of American iconography. Country-inspired chaps were inevitably present, but executed in shiny pink silk wool that exposed models' underwear--sexy, subversive and visibly reflective of NYC's queer community. Private Policy's commentary was also felt through casting; Jacopo Olmo wore vintage southwestern prints--another classic detail--as he snarled wildly for cameras with his signature fire-orange hair.
Though Qu and Li raised questions without giving definitive answers, their execution seemed to empower those who work toward the "American Dream" by fighting against the history they've been taught to regard. Decorated with hangtags bearing statements like, "Amerikkkan Dream," and, "Give 'Em Hell," Private Policy's spring '18 offering was less of a rose-tinted display than it was an an eye-opening, honest mirror.