Style Advice From John Waters

As a filthy auteur, one doesn’t really consider the personal style of John Waters. We do in film but, as a person, you probably just envision a most minuscule mustache. Yet, he has a style: the suit, which he spins in his own colorful way.

GQ detailed this in a recent interview, peeking into the (master)mind to learn what Waters thinks of fashion. Obviously, Waters has a lot of opinions. He loves Commes des Garçons (Who doesn’t?) and finds that looking like you’ve made an accident is perhaps the best part of fashion: the accident. He also believes in all those conservative, funny rules about fashion like not wearing white before Labor Day. (He also adds obscure, perhaps fabricated rules like no velvet before Thanksgiving and no patent leather before Easter, both of which I love because rules about velvet and patent leather crack my shit up.)

One thing that I really identify with is his sense of humor in dress: style to him is about wit, about making someone laugh. For example—

I have a [Maison] Martin Margiela suit that’s the best of all. It’s got rain splatters on the cuffs and on the collar. It looks like when you got out of a cab, you know, you got splashed by a car, and people say, “Oh my god!” when they see you. Like you didn’t notice! And I have another one that looks like it has cat hair all over it. [laughs] And it’s really great, because people panic and they say, “Oh, John!” You know, you’re at an opening or something. Like you didn’t know that you had cat hair all over. It’s really good. So wit is what I look for.

I love that. I also love, and truly identify with this:

The person I’m seeing now…hmm. He just laughs! He just laughs when he sees some of the things I wear. “That’s a good one!” he says. That’s a nice compliment, I think, when he says that.

I get that all the fucking time. People laugh at me and what I wear—but that is what I want. I want that reaction. I want to make people feel that fashion is fun and playful and silly and fun: to give a reaction from what you wear is empowering. Moreover, that sense of fun absolutely fits in with my aesthetic of the little boy dressing himself. Thus, dress for fun! Get a reaction from all who see you—especially if it’s something along the lines of, “That’s a good one!”

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