There is a lot to unpack regarding Netflixs new seven-part documentary about Joe Exotic and his tiger farm. I have read countless articles about the show. Everyone is obsessed with the eccentric zoo-keeper and his friends. Tiger King provided us with some timely drama, suspense and excitement - really bringing us together at this difficult time. Joe Exotic might not be the hero we deserved, but he's the hero we needed.
After binge-watching all seven episodes I realised that what really stuck out to me throughout was a rather shallow element of the series. I didn't care so much about the drama, or even Joe's buttery smooth country voice (honestly, Micheal Buble is shaking). My real interests lay in the outfits.
What really stuck with me after completing the series was the fashion, and their equally unique and fascinating styles. Every single one of the cast members sported flamboyant outfits that were very much indicative of their characters. And none of them seemed to give less of a fuck about current trends. The Tiger King-casts unconcerned attitude towards prevalent fashion discourse has resulted in them dressing, dare I say, on-trend!
First out is the infamous Joseph Schreibvogel, commonly known as Joe Exotic. The polygamous, gun-obsessed protagonist of the show who owns a tiger-farm in rural Oklahoma. Mr. Exotics wardrobe consists mostly of fringed suede jackets, cowboy boots, skinny jeans and different headgear - cartoon-cowboy cool.
Carol Baskin, the controversial animal rights-activists who allegedly killed her millionaire husband, channels a more hippie inspired look. At one point in the series, Baskin shows off her wardrobe - a cacophony of animal and flower print. Animal prints are neutrals, and I’m down with that tbh. Her headpiece of choice? A flower crown. If I were to describe her style it would be: If the step mom from Matilda joined a new-age cult. Idk.
Doctor Bhagavan, the man who runs another zoo, as well as a cult of sorts, in South Carolina, dresses a lot less extravagant compared to the others. At first glance it looks as if his clothes are solely for practicality, but then again functional fashion is not an oxymoron. Vests, cargo shorts and the color beige make up his everyday uniform. I’m inspired!
(What I’d also like to ask this man is what shampoo and conditioner he uses. His mane is as thick and long as a tiger's tail.)
Jeff Lowe, the Las Vegas-millionaire turned zoo-antagonist, never seems to go without a headpiece. Part of me believes his skull is held together by that bandana. My favorite piece of Mr. Lowes is the biker jacket he wears in some of the confessionals. His style is hard to distinguish, it’s kind of street-style biker merged with cowboy. Very 2020 if you ask me.
I honestly believe Tiger King came to us in this difficult time, not only to help us through quarantine and social distancing, but also to inspire us for when we are allowed to go outside. Let's embrace the same laissez-faire approach to fashion, and dare to experiment with pattern and style!