The wild reaction to Jeremy Scott’s Bart sweater set said less about enthusiasm for his aesthetic (which appears to be the brain of a 1995-era 13-year-old looking at a Delia’s catalogue, made real) and more about the still-rampant popularity of the Simpsons. The current ’90s’ obsession (and I say this in quotes as the younger set has somehow blinded themselves to the time’s prevalence of JNCOs and waffle knits) and fondness for the Simpsons resulted in a perfect storm of want.
Bootlegs of the Jeremy Scott design likely hit the market seconds after its debut, and with Simpsons bootlegs themselves a time-honored tradition, it’s hard to begrudge their existence. Where formerly Simpsons bootlegs were 50/50 underrepresented groups using Bart as voice and icon/Chinese manufacturers seeking to capitalize any sudden burst of popularity with little understanding of the symbolism, today it’s a small sliver of all-too conscious designers carefully manipulating Bart’s odd combination of major corporate mascot and bad-boy outsider status to bolster their own credibility, and a LOT more of the Chinese-random-stuff-algorithm churning out goods in response to response.
A slight digression – it’s interesting to note the new wave of designers capitalizing on the Simpsons and what they’ve meant still hew mostly to Bart designs, with a few Homers and Milhouses thrown in. Homer’s too much of an adult for ‘the kids’ to appreciate his utter lack of responsibility to anything tied to being an adult (a later development in what Dead Homer Society refers to as ‘Jerkass Homer’). Milhouse makes sense as a newer development – he’s the outsider’s outsider even within the Simpsons world – second banana to Bart, too much of a nerd to be an underachiever, too much of a loser to join the other nerds. Still no focus on Lisa or Marge, as they represent the moral core of the show (pretty much the opposite of beloved male irresponsibility fantasy stand-ins like Homer, Peter Griffin, Cartman, etc.), but I’m surprised there’s not more Maggie, as she would’ve been the age of many of the whippersnappers currently sporting this gear, was always somewhat of an enigma, and certainly in her Harpo way was another rebellious badass in the family.
Anyway. This is all a long-winded way of saying now that the Jeremy Scott sweater hype’s had a year or two to stew, the strange permutation bootlegs are finally coming up – copies of copies of copies made with no reference to the original, weird evolutions of imagery put out into the world. Behold:
Here’s a photo that I believe was used for reference, taken at an odd angle of the Bartman logo translated to knitwear…
This photo from a magazine shows a bootleg of the bootleg, with jagged lettering and weird perspective…
Note the wonkiness in the eyes…
This same photo from earlier was used in ANOTHER sweater post, claiming THIS….
…is the same sweater as THIS:
Don’t get me wrong, this sweater certainly has its own weird charm, plus it looks like a drawing from Hyperbole and a Half. But it is DEFINITELY not a straight-up Bartman sweater. I can only wonder where the next mutation will go.