69’s spring/summer 17 presentation was modelled by celebrity impersonators
And Snoop Dogg had everyone fooled.
Snoop Dogg is probably a little confused right now. Last night, the Long Beach rap icon was likely tagged in hundreds of Instagram photos at Milk Studios during a presentation at New York Fashion Week. On the scene, showgoers bombarded Snoop — who was dressed in an oversized button-up printed with pictures of fruit — for snaps and selfies. But unbeknownst to many of these people, Snoop wasn't at New York Fashion Week last night. It was the most convincing Dogfather doppleganger ever: one of the celebrity impersonators modelling 69's spring/summer 17 collection.
A primer: 69 is a non-demographic L.A. label celebrated for its oversized, out-of-the-box take on basics. The brand's cocoon dresses and dad pants, cut in durable fabrics like denim and canvas, are designed for everyone. The line's anonymous creative director has a great ear for music and an amazing sense of humour. Often, these things overlap in the brand's fashion week presentations; last season, models wore denim spaghetti monster masks and boogied to an epic selection of disco tunes.
This season, 69 took what seems like the complete opposite approach — enlisting a cast of celebrity impersonators to model the collection as Prince, Boy George, Howard Stern, and Andy Warhol. "They're all from one talent agency that's based in New York, and I just chose everyone from their roster," the designer said. But if you think about it, assembling a spirited cast of icons isn't outside the brand's ethos at all; both the denim masks and celebrity get-up preserve each individual's anonymity, and allow them to feel completely at home in the clothes. As Tina Turner told me, "We love it; all the stuff is comfortable and sexy."
Spring/summer 17 offered denims in lighter washes, and a loose series of cotton pieces printed with the brand's logo, and the aforementioned fruit pattern — a partnership with collaborative platform Print All Over Me that will be available online beginning September 19. "They have this really nice, light cotton that I've actually been trying to source for a while — it's super 80s, and they have it," the designer explained. "But I'm super excited to work with them; I was a fan of their stuff before we connected." My girl Tina wore a snap-front denim cardigan, Prince sported breezy white separates covered with "69"s. "Prince lives," the designer said as a stoic Purple Wonder glided gracefully around the room.
As to why Snoop Dogg caused such a stir: his impersonator looked exactly like him (too nervous, another editor and I played rock-paper-scissors to see who'd have to ask him for a picture first, before his izzle-less voice gave the game away). I thought it might be a Night of 1000 Stevies situation, where the Fleetwood Mac goddess walks among a throng of her impersonators, hiding in plain sight. Because given 69's fresh, all-inclusive approach to casual clothing has already made fans of everyone from Chloë Sevigny to Amber Rose (and, of course, Beyoncé), Snoop getting on board didn't seem like such a far reach. He narrates Planet Earth for fun and is about to launch a cooking show with Martha Stewart, for christsakes.
But Snoop's most convincing attribute was perhaps his most subtle: the way his pair of 69 jeans fit. The relaxed trousers were tailored to Southern California perfection, cut with a little looseness and falling just above the ankle. Snoop himself might not have been the real deal, but with the help of tall white socks and scuff-less Chuck Taylors, 69 nailed the LBC OG's laiiiiiiid back style staple. From anonymous disco dancers to the D-O-double-Gizzle, 69 truly is for us all.
Text Emily Manning
Photography courtesy Jen Dessinger