Golf Wang’s autumn collection is the line’s cleanest yet. It’s a crisp, laundered vision of the line’s beginnings, which consisted of cats in war bonnets and garish primary colors for the pure sake of ocular stimulation. The new pieces feature a psychedelic font that melts in candy tones and a picky array of cheeky graphics and textures. As always, what sets Golf Wang apart from its familiars, such as Supreme, Dime and Palace, is an unironic commitment to maximalism. A bowling shirt patterned like a wonderfully earthy lava lamp, velour shorts and trimmed safari vests are just a few of the wares offered.
The primary graphics include “Fast Man,” a Shel Silverstein-esque print of a smiling man on a couch; “Cupid,” a crackled, ’90s-inspired heart and arrow; “Frog,” a tee design reminiscent of the Rainforest Cafe mascot; an “Isolation” print of a masked figure; and a “Waves” design of a sun in Golf heraldry. Colors are paired in harmonious nods to childhood memories past: a crewneck that screams Nickelodeon, or a safari vest that tastes of Swedish Fish.
Golf Wang’s 2011 inception held the cult of Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All at bated breath: How would this fashion line differ from the beloved Odd Future merch that Tyler, the Creator and his crew had worn themselves, on and offstage? The first collections set an exhilarating tone — loud colors, controversial graphics, unisex forms — and are all designed with a reckless fun that Tyler has been known for since his Loiter Squad days.
Golf Wang, a spoonerism of Wolf Gang, was at once understood as a creative spinoff — Tyler, the Creator’s personal debut into what could be considered “serious” fashion design. Tyler’s outfits and pieces have always seemed plucked from the ether of childhood fantasies. Since Golf Wang’s first season, Tyler’s fantasies have been engineered by and co-designed with Phil Toselli. Tyler’s initial designs are pen and color, crude and potent. Toselli brings the sketches to life.
The collection as a whole speaks to this fantasy in the most practical ways — “Here,” the line seems to say, “Why don’t you bring a bit of escape to the everyday?” This season of Golf Wang has only one shoe, a pair of Ikea-blue Suicoke sandals. The items for sale are not designed in a vacuum — surely Tyler does not intend for the sandals to be paired with every possible iteration of the collection’s clothes. Instead, each distinctive shirt and graphic is a fully-formed daydream. It doesn’t belong, really, anywhere familiar.
Golf Wang is a reflection of its Creator’s sound. Just as Tyler produces music in his self-constructed, untraditional hybrid of pop and rap, Golf isn’t a traditional fashion brand either –– not purely streetwear, not entirely casual fashion, caught between cool and goofy. In his 2020 Grammy acceptance speech, Tyler even described his personal musical style as “genre-bending.”
Genre-bending. That’s what this season of Golf Wang is. It has the blasé coolness of skatewear and the feminine details of couture, made not for one subgroup of fans, but for anyone prone to tomfoolery and fun.