By Amy Marshall, Style Digital Editor
The Croft Magazine // Daring, experimental, and truly iconic, Doja Cat's commitment to the Avant Garde has gained the attention of the fashion world in recent months. With this in mind, Amy explores Doja's most iconic looks from this year's fashion week.
Spring 2023 fashion week did not disappoint, particularly when it came to Haute Couture. From Iris Van Herpen’s Carte Blanche collection, which saw models flaunt designs underwater rather than walk a traditional runway, to Schiaparelli’s Infernocollection inspired by Dante’s imagining of hell, the Avant-Garde seemed to be at the forefront of the 2023 Spring-Summer collections. And yet, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of this year’s kitsch, Avant-Garde fashion week is none other than Doja Cat.
Since Doja Cat’s rise to prominence in 2018, she has proved to be an unforgettable name within the music industry. But in recent months, her style and influence in the fashion world has been garnering more and more attention – and rightfully so. Last summer saw Doja become more experimental with her look, making headlines when she shaved her head, and then her eyebrows (on an Instagram live, no less), to which she received a wave of unwarranted criticism. The backlash Doja received raises an interesting point about the relationship with women and experimenting with kitschy aesthetics. Artists are often encouraged and praised when exploring their innovative, creative side. And yet, when rejecting traditional, conformist beauty standards is the means by which female artists do so, they often face criticism. Addressing this in a recent interview with Dazed magazine, Doja states ‘[The media is] like, “Oh, this can’t possibly be her having fun. She has to be out of her mind. She has to be cuckoo’. ‘Now, to me, beauty is going against it. I love when you take something that is maybe classically beautiful and twist it and make it your own’.
Doja has always been experimental with her style, a notion which was showcased at this year’s Paris fashion week. Despite being only an attendee, Doja was one of the most memorable people from the major SS23 fashion shows, clad in Avant-garde attire.
Perhaps her most daring look to date, Doja attended the 2023 Schiaparelli Haute Couture show at Paris fashion week embellished in 30,000 red Swarovski crystals. It’s rare to find dedication to the Avant-garde as great as Doja’s. Teaming up with legendary makeup artist Pat McGrath and creative designer of Schiaparelli, Daniel Roseberry, her look took almost five hours to complete, with the team individually applying each crystal until Doja was almost unrecognisable.
But as seen when she shaved her hair, experimentalism doesn’t come without criticism. Many praised Doja for choosing to step outside of the box of traditionally ‘pretty’ fashion looks when others such as Kylie Jenner also wore Schiaparelli but in the form of a floor length gown. Others, however, weren’t so positive. Despite working with a world-renowned makeup artist, an influx of comments on social media critiqued Doja for not wearing lashes with her look. But in true Doja Cat style, turned the demand for lashes on its head – quite literally.
Responding to the comments in an ambiguous Instagram story, Doja wrote ‘If lashes are what you all want, then lashes are what you’ll get’. She attended the Viktor & Rolf show two days later, doing a complete 180 on her previous look, wearing a brown pinstripe suit with an overexaggerated silhouette and a ruffle-collar shirt. Most notable, though, was Doja’s eyelashes. Playing on the critiques she received, Doja wore false lashes on her forehead, chin and upper lip, imitating eyebrows, a moustache, and goatee.
In her approach to fashion, albeit unconventional, Doja has certainly established herself as a contender for the next celebrity icon of Avant-garde. Always experimental and daring to reject traditional beauty standards, Doja’s commitment to pushing the boundaries will continue to be celebrated by the fashion world for years to come.
Featured image: Emily Fromant
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