Still, Miguel Adrover’s first collection demonstrated how junk could be recycled into profit, and his second collection shown in New York (Spring–Summer 2001) made more explicit American references by trawling through recent American history, making a ‘tiger’s leap’ back to the Vietnam war and to hip-hop and rap culture, drawing on a mish-mash of American motifs that included native American and prairie styles as well as urban street culture and baseball references. It featured a strong military look that was influential until the events of 11 September 2001 effectively put an end to the military look that Adrover had shown on the catwalk a yera before. The unforeseen ‘developer of the future’ that Benjamin argued can change the meaning of imagery in the future did its work. Adrover’s two collection immediately prior to 11 September took traditional Middle Eastern dress as the theme. Three motifs can be seen: worn clothing, the archetypal American Coca Cola logo, and Middle Eastern dress. Adrover all but lost his business after his Spring–Summer 2002 collection was shown in New York on 9 September 2001 as his backer the Leiber Group (formerly Pegasus) sought a buyer for the company. Perhaps appropriately, for a designer whose fortunes went mercurially from rags to riches and back to rags again in only two years, Adrover had claimed ‘the American way of life’ as his inspiration for Spring–Summer 2001, and Saks on Fifth Avenue had claimed that the collection marked a turning point in ‘American street couture’. And these articulations of ‘American-ness’ were not incompatible with the patriotism invoked in New York fashion industry that followed a year later in the wake of 11 September 2001.
Miguel Adrover, Fall–Winter 2001–2002, Photography Roberto Tecchio, courtesy Judith Clark Costume
Fashion at the Edge: Spectacle, Modernity and Deathliness by Caroline Evans, Yale University Press