Stephen Sprouse is omnipresent lately and Deitch Projects is the epicentre of his re-emergence on the fashion scene with their bright installation devoted to his dynamic, energetic and all too brief career. Bolstered by videos of runway footage and the Sprouse scene from Slaves of New York, the large main room holds many of his most famous designs.
I personally can vividly remember his bright green graffiti print from 1988 and it was fun to see it in person. My sister and I admired it in the pages of Vogue when we were little and I remember his stuff always stood out against other more serious and less fun (in my 10 year old eyes) designers like Armani.
Downstairs a dark room features his bold sketches under black light and upstairs more videos play from his often raucous shows. I found the huge wall of personal Polaroids the most fascinating. Not only is it neat to see candid shots of his famous friends like Debbie Harry just hanging out, but it makes the whole art movement he was a part of seem more real and identifiable. In snapshots, they all looked no different from my friends and I, having fun and creating things.
While his clothes are time capsules of a very specific new york moment, his partnership with Target and Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton brought the fashion bad boy – who bridged uptown fashion with downtown crazy – into the modern limelight. Sadly, he succumbed to complications of lung cancer soon after the Vuitton revival and Soho lost one of it's creators.
Now with a fancy coffee table book and Marc Jacobs releasing his We Love Sprouse homage, he's back again, and probably just in time. With the economy getting everyone down, we all could use a bit more neon distraction.
Also, I was solely excited because the Joker face host of Fashion Television was there to shoot a piece. No one else knew who she was though…