While he could have gone further, as we cross-armed contrarians hoped he would, John Waters nonetheless packed some zingers as host of the CFDA Awards last night. He ribbed a few fashion characters, but for the most part resisted the kind of full-roast lambast he's more than capable of delivering, much to the relief of those in the audience. Here are the best quips...
"In 2015, let’s make a blouse sell for more than a car [and] a coat cost more than a yacht. All we need is one customer to break the glass ceiling of pricing. I mean, when was the actual date that a handbag began costing more than a condo in Queens? Why do magazine editors question a $28,000 Puffy Clouds Embroidery Dress by Marc Jacobs? The man has expenses."
"Tavi Gevinson inspired me by dyeing her hair gray when she was just a kid and causing a sensation. But let’s go further. Rihanna, you’ve got fashion balls, help me out with this new rigorous style. Let’s make fun of the generation who came right before you who are beginning to fear aging. Go ahead, be daring. Draw on liver spots and wow 'em on your next red carpet. Feature fake varicose veins with that bikini in Mustique. Cause a real scandal by sketching on Ruth Gordon lips for your fourth Vogue cover."
"My line would be called Caught Dead, as in 'I wouldn’t be.' Inspired by the lowest-of-the-low thriftshop outfits that have been left unsold in the bottom of those Value Village bins for at least a year. Think dad jeans in a 44-inch waist with faux-bleach stains around the crotch; women’s underarm shields left over from the ‘50s; maternity tube tops; outdated meatball-brown maxi-skirts from the ‘70s; clothes that even the hippest FIT or Parsons student couldn’t wear ironically. Jenna Lyons, go ahead, appropriate it. I’ll be flattered!"
"I’d also tell Women’s Wear Daily that my influences were more advanced than the usual references to Mad Men, the art of subtraction, or urban gypsy. Mine would be family drug interventions, roller-coaster accidents, and most importantly Poor Pitiful Pearl. Remember that great doll from the ‘50s that came dressed in a burlap bag and a Nikita Khrushchev wife–style headscarf in a plain brown box with the wonderful copy: This is poor pitiful Pearl? She is my muse!"
"I’d introduce my motley new looks during Baltimore Fashion Week, which has been unfairly deemed unsophisticated by some critics just because the models smile like beauty queens walking down the runway, waving to their parents in the audience and yelling, “cheese.” So? Imagine if Comme des Garçons did this? Wouldn’t that be as transgressive as Rick Owens’ models grit-facing? A good mood on the catwalk is positively post-modern these days."