The Steve Buscemi dress: There’s nothing quite like wearing the face of your favourite celebrity or musician on your t-shirt to express your adoration for that person. As highlighted in an earlier Sick Chirpse article, Justin Bieber proved this far too well, when he unexpectedly stepped out at a recent premier proudly sporting the image of a woman twice his age, who he presumably only recognises from Nickelodeon’s evening re-runs of Saved By the Bell somewhere in the mid-2000s
Nonetheless, Bieber’s whimsical tribute goes to show that even in the digital age of music and film consumerism, it is still one of the highest forms of fan-worship to adorn yourself in the image of your beloved, and what better way to show off your scary stalker-like devotion than with an apt piece of attire. Modern culture is riddled with examples of this sort of fan-devotion. Consider if you will, the iconic t-shirt with the Nirvana smily-face logo on it? Or a tunic, with some out-of-context quote by Marilyn Monroe that speaks to single, lonely women in a way that only an emotionally-fragile starlet can? Or how about a skintight mini-dress, with a giant blown up picture of the dashing, handsome and internationally admired Steve Buscemi on it?
Yes, that’s right! It’s a modern design classic, folks, for sure. For a start, just think of all the legions of Steve Buscemi fans out there, fascinated by his resonating cultural relevance and charismatic demeanour? I don’t know about you, but I can’t talk to a person these days without his name casually coming into the conversation, followed by a mutual exchange of excitable and flurried praise for the saggy-eyed one we all know and love. So what exactly is the thinking behind such a statement piece?
If I tried to examine this dress analytically, I think my ears might bleed from over-perplexation of the brain, so instead I’ll just blindly pose a bunch of rhetorical questions in the general direction of the garment’s designer. Is the dress meant to be ironic, or sexy? Am I supposed to wear it self-depreciatingly, or bad-ass and genuine? Is this for fans of Steve Buscemi, or fans of the arbitary and unusual? Do I wear it to go clubbing or to redeem my Clubcard points at Tesco?
So far, I’m baffled. The lycra mini-length bodycon with added cleavage says, ‘Hi there, I’m easier than an arm-wrestle with a drunk baby”, whilst the delicate photo image of a man whose career is resigned to playing subsidiary outcast roles says, “I’m a slightly unstable nerd and I may hurt you.” The very concept of this dress is so conflicting, it’s the style equivalent of fusing positive and negative charged ions together in one garment, and quite frankly, I’m amazed this dress hasn’t combusted at the magnitude of its own paradox.
I’m not sure what it is that bothers me the most about the randomness of the design concept for this dress, but whatever it may be, I have feeling that those sly old dogs at Black Milk HQ will absolutely love the notion that they’ve got me guessing with this one. Much like the written work of Melville or Joyce, perhaps this profound creation was never meant to be fully comprehended. The Steve Buscemi dress is a wild social statement, standing proudly apart from scores of bland conformist clothing, like a piece of fabric philosophy, with only one clear message for its dumbstruck and astounded audience; “Don’t try to understand me; just love me.” A bit like Mr. Steve Buscemi himself, some might say. Or not.
The ‘Steve Buscemi’ Dress retails at $100 from www.shop.blackmilkclothing.com.