Whoopi Goldberg has never been one to chase trends, and in character has worn everything from a nun’s habit to doctor’s scrubs, but in recent years Goldberg has been recharging the battery of fashion by becoming an unexpected style icon.
Dressing down in brands like Vetements and being spotted amongst the throngs of fashion’s elite on the front rows of shows for Hood by Air, Marc Jacobs and Gypsy Sport, she’s ideally situated to offer an authoritative opinion on the looks on parade throughout NYFW. And with her acerbic wit, we couldn’t resist asking her thoughts.
Marc Jacobs’s SS18 show took place in the Armory. Sadly, Whoopi Goldberg was stuck in traffic with her granddaughter, Jerzey Dean, and was unable to attend the show in person. However, like any fashion critic worth their salt, she studied images of the collection post-show and found an unlikely parallel to Austin Powers.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: Oh my God, I just saw the clothes. Fuck, am I pissed off! Oh my God, I want everything. There’s a brown pinstripe suit. Marc always does spectacular things with all kinds of women. The colors are very current—but very ’60s. It’s a throwback with a great flare where women could dress in patterns and it was okay. And for a long time, pattern went away, but his patterns are delicious. They’re delicious.
[The use of silence as a soundtrack] was a good choice because it forces people to talk and not focus on what they’re hearing, or start bouncing to the beat. They actually have to talk to the people who are sitting next to them, and then all this color and movement comes out. That is music, isn’t it?
You know what I really love and I’ve never been able to pull off—because my arms are not really long enough—is the gloves that go all the way up your arm. But it looked stunning and I thought, “Maybe they’d make them for a short-armed woman?” I think there’s something quite elegant about evening gloves.
I hope gloves are making a comeback. They add a little touch of class. I love seeing men in a suit with a little handkerchief in their pocket. You don’t ever have to use it, but it gives you that touch of savoir-faire. Regardless of what you’re wearing, if your arms are out, you can pull it off with jeans, heels—you can do it! You just have to believe you look fantastic.
I love a great shoe, a fun shoe. The only thing you wonder about when you have [tassels] on your shoes is, do I have something to replace it? So if a tassel falls off, hopefully the shoe comes with several tassels because you’re never looking down at your feet, so you won’t know when it’s gone until you go to put it on the next time. So [the tasseled sandals work] as long as they come with some replacements. And the bags were so functional, because you can dump all your shit in ’em.
[The head wraps] were just beautiful to see. It’s not about your hair color, it’s about the color of your head wrap. So you won’t know if blonds have more fun.
In the old days, women wore turbans. One of the great visuals from the set of Sunset Boulevard is all of the turbans that Norma Desmond wears. It’s great to find ways to do something different on your head. Head wraps are great, and last year [at Marc’s SS17 show], all the girls had these long dreads. So I thought, “Why is he doing this?” He makes everything accessible to you if you’re interested in it. He’s saying, “You don’t have to look like this person, or this person, or this person to pull this off.” I think that’s what fashion can do. It can make you bolder, more interested in trying different things because you’ve seen it. So when you have people saying, “Yes! Go try it, because this is what it could look like for you.” I think that’s spectacular.
If this collection were a movie, this would be—what’s the one with Mini Me? This is Austin Powers. Visually, because it’s mod, it’s happening, it’s fabulous, it’s going on. That’s what it is.
I couldn’t tell you who Kendall or Jendall or any of these people were, but I can tell you that those clothes were for everybody. I was so excited to see them.
I want to get my hands on those pants. I want to get my hands on those overalls, the floral tops. I want all of the head wraps, I want all the coats, I want the cape. I want the pants; the pants are wonderful. I want everything!