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Eccentric Fashion Designer

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This character is a trend setter, on the bleeding edge, an artist, creator, and auteur par excellence. They can define an entire generation's aesthetic (if only briefly) and alter the course of apparel. They are also chock-full of eccentricity, flamboyance, opinion and energy. The Eccentric Fashion Designers oscillate between Mad Artists/Cloudcuckoolanders and perfectly sane (but still "gifted") people with many quirks.

Here's a few:

  • They'll dress how they design: eccentrically, and usually boast an Unlimited Wardrobe. In fact, for them it's not Costume Porn, it's Art.
  • Have speech affectations or an accent if foreign. Typically the Eccentric Fashion Designer is European, Asian, homosexual or all of the above.
  • An obsessions with perfection and originality. Models will usually be expected to do things that impinge on their dignity and/or worthy of No OSHA Compliance.
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  • Male Eccentric Fashion Designers will probably be Camp Gay, even straight designers may act the part in a weird form of reverse closeting to gain credibility.
  • An insistence on calling everyone "Darling" or some variation thereof (possibly to the point of Terms of Endangerment when villainous).

Shares a lot of traits with Eccentric Artist and The Fashionista, and both sometimes overlap. Subtrope to Fashion Designer.


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Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • Teen Titans Go!: Mad Mod disguises himself as a kooky foreign fashion designer named D.D. Ammo in an attempt to control the minds of Jump City's inhabitants. Robin makes a comment on the clothes, saying they're outdated or something.
  • X-Men: Jumbo Carnation is a flamboyant four-armed fashion designer whose X-Factory creates outfits for mutants. He is known for creating the wing-glove and tentacle stocking.

    Films — Animated 
  • The Incredibles: Edna Mode is a fashion designer for superheroes, and her demeanor is very quirky. Despite this, she's very competent and Genre Savvy when it comes to designing supersuits — most notably, she doesn't use capes because a number of heroes have been killed by Cape Snags.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 101 Dalmatians (1996): Cruella de Vil is a more sinister example of this trope. She's a fashion designer (at least in the live-action films; her job is unmentioned in the animated film, although it's mentioned that she's married to a furrier in the books) with a strong penchant for furs, with her obsessing on dalmatian spots. And although she acts bubbly, she's actually quite rude and self-centered.
  • Gentlemen Broncos: Subverted. Ms. Purvis is a creative and eccentric designer, but her designs are as banal as they are bizarre and her personal style of expression is conventional, almost to the point of exaggeration.
  • The Great Muppet Caper: Lady Holiday is very much this trope. In one scene she dumps ink on a model to get the right look.
  • The Neon Demon: Roberto Sarno is portrayed as eccentric in a bad way, viciously humiliating models who attend his casting calls, ranting about Jesse's beauty, and eventually shepherding her into vicious narcissism, personified by his trippy show.

    Literature 
  • The Hunger Games: Subverted by Cinna, who surprises Katniss by being extremely softly spoken and tasteful (even if he does set Katniss on fire). However, this is played straight by all the other designers and styling teams, who are extremely manic with off-the-wall ideas about how to dress the tributes.
  • My Sister, the Serial Killer: Downplayed. Ayoola is primarily an Instagram model who makes and sells her own clothes — and a bratty, narcissistic serial killer who relies on her older sister to cover up her crimes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Ugly Betty: In one episode, a famous stylist hired to pick the outfit for a celebrity baby photoshoot wants to dress the baby in chain mail. He refuses to listen to Betty's objections over the danger to the baby, and eventually ragequits when she won't budge (since with Daniel and Wilhelmina out of the office she has authority).

    Video Games 
  • Animal Crossing Gracie visits your town from time to time, and gives you rare pieces of clothing you wouldn't normally find at the Able Sisters' shop. She (or he in the Japanese version) tends to call the player "honey" or "darling" and speaks with a deep voice.
  • Nancy Drew: Minette from "Danger by Design" constantly wears a white mask and has extreme mood-swings, including getting violent with her employees. And she's the bad guy.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You: Inverted. Shiki is revealed to have become a wildly successful and popular designer after starting up her fashion brand, Gatto Nero. However, Shiki herself has one of the most mundane appearances and least eccentric personalities out of the entire cast.
  • Saints Row: Stefan is a European fashion designer and owner of the Impressions, a high-end clothes store chain in Stilwater. He sports a thick, vaguely French accent, rather campy affectations, always refers to himself in third person, and likes to repeat parts of his sentences. He is also in cahoots with the Vice Kings gang (or rather, he is the personal fashion advisor to one of their lieutenants, Tanya), making him a target for the Saints.
  • Style Savvy: Rococco (named "Pario" in Japan) is a flamboyant and brightly dressed fashion designer. In the sequel game, his design is toned down and becomes a Bishōnen. English translations make him into Rococco's son, Rocco.
  • The Outer Worlds has Celeste Jolicouer, a pompous fashion designer responsible for all of the fancy articles of clothing you can find around the world. Nonetheless, despite living in a planet where classism is rampant she's very quick to help Parvati Holcomb make an outfit. She's also capable of creating a suit that happens to be an excellent piece of combat armor after you get some animal parts for her, though by the end she's killed by the government for the crime of being too much of an independent thinker.

    Webcomics 
  • Furry Experience: Diana, sister to Brian, debuts in the chapter "What The Pencils Mean." She appropriates Brian's pencils to craft an outfit made from pencils, ribbons, and tailor's rulers. In a later strip, Diana helps herself to her mother's "good" yarn, and knits an outfit for herself. She then goes to university to show it off, and to take requests for custom outfits from other students.

    Western Animation 
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Rarity has more than a few shades of this: her forte is adding gem-based bling to her designs, and she speaks with an affected mid-Atlantic accent, calls everyone "darling", and has a very flamboyant, driven and perfectionist personality with a tendency to dive into obsessive phases when particularly gripped by her work. Granted, she actually turns out to have a more down to earth design sense than her friends when they make suggestions.

    Real Life 
  • The Italian haute couturier Elsa Schiaparelli is a living embodiment of this trope in much of her career during the 1930s and 40s. Being a fashion designer who is also affiliated with the Surrealist movement, her designs included fake bow designs in sweaters, the usage of hot pink with contrasting colors, shoe hats, and dresses that include one with lobster appliques, one with boning resembling skeleton bones, and one with fabric tear designs.
  • While a stretch, Lady Gaga and her fashion label called the Haus of Gaga, provided much of a gallery of outrageous outfits that she wore throughout her career, especially through her Fame era.
  • American fashion designer and interior decorator Iris Apfel is renowned for her unabashedly flashy and eccentric style, which she retains even in her advanced age (celebrating her 100th birthday in 2021). From her extensive work on decorating the White House to even the fashion she wears on a day-to-day basis, her style is very much a controlled sort of chaos, and her signature sense of playful, ornate, over-the-top energy pervades pretty much anywhere her designs or she herself shows up.

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