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.
Throughout NYFW, Goldberg will be reviewing a handful of select SS18 shows. Here, she takes a close look at Tracy Reese’s SS18 collection—a label that started in 1997.
WHOOPI GOLDBERG: A couple of years ago André Leon Talley said to me, “You need to see Tracy’s clothing. You need to meet her.” I said, “Okay!” Whenever André says you need to do this, you immediately do it. So I didn’t know her, and I’ve turned lots of people on to her because you don’t see a lot of black designers and you don’t see a lot of women who are black and designers.
I love Tracy. I’m always excited to see what I can wear. The other thing about her is that she’s created all these different clothes for different body shapes. They’re kind of beautiful. There are a couple of great, gorgeous suits. You lick your lips because it’s just like, “Oh, that’s right! We’re all different body styles and shapes: tall, skinny, big.” It’s heaven. So I’ve seen about four, five things that I want desperately.
Pretty soon, if women had gotten any thinner, they wouldn’t be there. It would just be clothes laying on the floor. Not everybody looks like a gazelle! Here you know that women all over the world can actually wear Tracy’s clothing and I want people to pay attention to what she’s doing, how she’s doing it and who she’s dressing. The people she’s dressing and designing for are the people who are actually out buying clothing. And they’re gonna wear it! It’s not just like, “Oh, I might wear this. I have so many [garments] to choose from.” This is like, “No, I’m creating specifically for you.” I love that.
There are colors here that I think I could actually get away with. Sometimes you see things and you think, “Ooh, I could never wear that color.” I could rock a fuchsia coat, but it has to look like that in order to feel like you could wear it. The coats for me are magnificent because I love a coat. [I stay away from] yellows, because there are a lot of yellows apparently in my [skin tone], so I look ill. And pink—I’m not good with pink.
If I were to turn up to a party wearing one of these outfits, people would be very shocked and very upset that I didn’t look like me. [laughs] Maybe that’s just my ego. If I were doing the Oscars, I would find one of the gowns that Tracy has created because I just love her lines. I’m sort of short-waisted. Her stuff is just beautiful. Ninety-nine percent of it, I can wear. And if I can wear it, it means other women can wear it as well. It’s heaven!