Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, read one way, is an active subversion of the norms of the Young-Girl—her exhibitionistic sexuality, her consumptive economy—in our current twenty-teens of late capitalism. A revenge fantasy of the politically dispossessed (*Jacob Wren). Former Disney princesses fight the power with the most essential tool of power (and the only pure tool they have access to): violence. It’s radical.
That’s one reading, or, part of one reading.
Any subversion in Spring Breakers is also bound to complicity. Korine may be showing a girl revolt, but he is also showing girls—it’s tits and ass and tits and ass and tits and ass and tits and ass and tongue—and two music montages later, you too are dying for a bong hit, a bump, and a belly-button-ringed babe. And maybe also a neon string bikini, a pink balaclava, a crop top, and a pair of shiny kicks.
The costuming of Spring Breakers is sure to launch a bunch of trend reports—Dress like Your Favorite Spring Breaker! Are you more conservative like Faith or more punk like Cotty? Wildfox Couture and American Eagle Outfitters, watch your sales soar. But Korine’s also smart like that. He’s partnered with Supra, collaborating on a pair of Spring Breakers Donavyn sneakers:
The Spring Breakers Donavyn is a casually elegant low top, redolent of a dress shoe, with a color story that, at first glance, is as bizarre as some of Harmony’s scripts. But the hot pink and turquoise color story was chosen as a nod to another ubiquitous Florida institution, the hit 80’s TV show Miami Vice.
Only 100 pairs of the Spring Breakers Donavyn were created, so if you can’t get your feet in those, maybe we can get your tits and tummy covered. Korine’s longtime friend and film/fashion collaborator, agnès b. has made a limited edition movie tie-in tank top for Spring Breakers. “Spring Break Bitches,” it’s scribbled on, and signed by Agnès and Harmony.
Is the subversive message of the movie undermined by the commodity culture (including the commodity of the Young-Girl’s body) that it perpetuates? Harmony Korine has appropriated an authentic fashion culture, the American spring break look, and subverted it, to a certain extent, adding guns, balaclavas, and drug money to the mix, but his attention will only serve to propagate the original look. I’m seeing the inspiration sales and Vogue Italia editorials already. (American Apparel, this would be a great window dressing theme for you.) Spring Breakers, the film’s contents and it’s merchandise, just goes to show that, in our twenty-teens (so young!), there’s nothing outside of capitalism. At the end of the movie, if you’re anything like me, you’ll be like: should I start a revolution or should I go shopping?