Photography: Lane Lang
There’s a kind of subtle sexiness, like a low back dress, or a tailored suit—and then there’s Eric Schlösberg. For his Spring ’18 collection, the designer went full-on white trash sex tape, channeling Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee, hitchhiking during the “hot, wet, American summer.” If that didn’t bring to mind cowboy hats, lace jumpsuits and gingham short-shorts, than you should probably re-evaluate your life—or at least re-watch Baywatch. And while I wouldn’t say Schlösberg was able to make any of those things classy (I’m not even sure that’s the goal), he was able to make them cool—and that’s a serious feat in any year, but especially 2017. That’s probably Eric’s biggest gift, in general—taking something that should be incredibly tacky, and making people want to buy it in every color. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I’d love to see Anna Wintour in that “I SWALLOW” hoodie—though I would settle for Rihanna. Like he’s done for the last three seasons, and before, with Ammerman Schlösberg, Eric straddles the line between costume and clubwear, what the fuck and wearability. His clothes are equally at home in Opening Ceremony as they are on Hollywood Boulevard and that’s what makes them—and him—so refreshing: they’re unpretentious, but just self-aware enough, and anyone who wears Eric Schlösberg is instantly the coolest in the room. And isn’t that the point of getting dressed, anyway?
View images from the Eric Schlösberg S/S ’18 presentation and read more about the collection, below.
Tell me about the collection. What inspired it?
It’s a hot, wet, American summer and I just imagined my girl hitchhiking across the country. But I was also really influenced by Pam Anderson. When I was growing, she was this incredible sex icon, and I feel like she’s really influenced my work over the years. This season, I just wanted to drive that home.
What was on your moodboard?
My husband I spent about four weeks just Google searching “country sluts.” So, I have all of these pictures of proms in Middle America, Southern porn and a lot of stripper costumes.
How does this season compare to last?
I think I really found my voice as a designer. My previous collections with Ammerman Schlösberg—that was an incredible time and I did it for years. But to break off and do my own thing—I really had to feel out who I was as a designer. So I really just felt like myself during this whole process.
Describe your brand in three words.
Opulent. Excessive. Sexy.
Who do you see as the Eric Schlösberg man or woman this season?
Strong. Confident. Smart—smart is a huge thing. My clothes are straight-forward—a skirt is a skirt, there’s nothing overly complicated. But I also think you have to have some sense of where these things came from.
Do you think fashion should be political?
I do. There are a ton of designers who are incredibly affected and influenced by the state of the world—it’s hard not to be. We’re in a pretty turbulent political period. But I see my clothes more as an escape, so they have nothing to do with politics or with whats going on in the world. I mean, the world we’re living in is so crazy. When people see my clothes, I want them to think, ‘My mind is so full of all of this political stuff, I want to melt into a fantasy and escape the world.’
So what do you think your role is as a fashion designer, especially during these hyper-political times?
I just want to bring happiness into people’s worlds—I want to make people feel good, even if it’s just for a second.