John Howard Knight III

Designer John Howard Knight III, aka Tr , has marcelled hair, a raccoon-tail on his purse, and a bad attitude. "Some people would consider my style to be gothic, but those people just don't get it," he tells New York mag's Amy Larocca. He also claims that his look is very "period-driven." We so get that—we're often period-driven ourselves. After the jump, Intern Alexis gets Jenny Slate, Gabe Liedman, Matt Oberg and Sarah Burns to rag on him.

Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman, comedic duo

What does Tre design?
If you own a harpsichord, but also think Elvira is a classy lady, then you'll be at one with Tre's designs—a subtle collection of punk-rock flapper-gear for the 24-hour tranny.

Is that raccoon tail on his bag an homage to his Southern upbringing? What other cultural signifiers can you find in Tre's ensemble?
Tre loves to blend a million different cultural signifiers in every outfit. He'll give you a Matrix coat, Pirates of the Caribbean necklaces, and a shellacked Zelda Fitzgerald jerrycurl—and it's all the same to him:
"...you should never change who you are. Even if I walk down the street and get a lot of "What the fuck is that?"—I just smile, I keep on walking, and keep on doing it, because no one's ever going to get it if I don't..."
We think the raccoon tail is definitely an homage to his southern upbringing, but also his resolve to just 'keep on walking'—even if there's a feral raccoon attached to your purse. Just keep walking, til the whole damn thing rots off. You're almost there girlfriend!! Tre fancies himself a chameleon, which we think is a stretch. This dude would have as good of a chance blending in anywhere as Imus would have on America's Next Top Model.

What do John Howard Knight I and II think of III?
They'd be rolling over in their graves to know that III only includes a corset in his nighttime look. How can you call yourself a John Howard Knight and have the audacity to let your body flop around uncorseted all day long?! Chivalry really is dead, even for southern boyz.

Matt Oberg, comedian

What does Tre design?
Casual wear for tomorrow's villain on the go. He is also about to release a
line of evil change purses. They can all be considered gothic because that
is what Tre's style is.

Is that raccoon tail on his bag an homage to his Southern upbringing? What other cultural signifiers can you find in Tre's ensemble?
The raccoon tail is not an homage at all, it is attached to the raccoon he keeps in that bag. "Some people think raccoons are dangerous, but they just don't get it". The necklaces are an obvious nod to Mr T. Tre pities the fool that has fingers on his gloves.

What do John Howard Knight I and II think of III?
They are proud of his gothic style. They wish that he would stop letting Paul bully him. They are worried about who will tighten the corset when it proves too much for their arthritic hands. But mostly they are all "We're just happy that when he wakes up his hair's already done".

Sarah Burns, actor, writer, Tre-aholic

What does Tre design?
Seriously, what doesn't Tre design? Think about it. Tre's out there, every day, rain or shine, going like the Hammers of Hell, corseted, Betty-Boop-hair-helmeted, dragging that giant bag filled to the brim with raccoons helping people "get him". I know. The shorts over tights, the boots, the countless silver necklaces...GOD ...it's straight out of the KMFDM Fan's Guide to Going Out, but that's just old Tre, throwing us a curveball. Tre doesn't care. He doesn't even notice. He's on a mission. You could probably jump on his back and he wouldn't even flinch. When he's focused, forget it. I bet he is out there right now and people, the ignorant fools that we are, are like "Oh, his style is goth," or "What the fuck is that?" It makes me so mad. And Tre, he's just smiling, he's just walking because he HAS TO. Because if he didn't, and forgive me if I get emotional here, if he didn't PEOPLE WOULDN'T GET IT. So when you ask "What does Tre design?" I say Inspiration. Self Respect. Duty. And fishnet crop-tops.

Is that raccoon tail on his bag an homage to his Southern upbringing? What other cultural signifiers can you find in Tre's ensemble?
The thing about Tre is: he never forgets. You can wrap him up in cellophane, spray him with silly string and put him on a boat to Madagascar but he would never loose touch with the good ole boy he truly is. Which is why he carries a bag full of raccoons with him wherever he goes. But he's also vintage. Look at him. He totally nails the Joseph Goebbels look. So '40's!

What do John Howard Knight I and II think of III?
Oh please they love it! When Tre comes home, it's like a light goes on in the otherwise dull existence of Chapel Hill. Or should I say Chapel Chill? People fling themselves at him the way only a Pope or a Rolling Stone could tell you about. There is shoving and undoubtedly pushing. Children get trampled. Its pandemonium and JHK I and II can't get enough of it.. Frankly, I think JHK I and II push Tre a little too hard when he comes home. They parade Tre around like the Infanta, poor thing, when all he wants to do is his laundry and eat his mom's tuna mac.

Designer John Howard Knight III
[NYM]