This is an edition of the newsletter Show Notes, in which Samuel Hine reports from the front row of fashion month in Europe. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.
Alexander Skarsgård readily admits that he might be a fashion dilettante. “I’m going to sound like a complete dick,” he told me at Fendi’s runway show in the Tuscan countryside on Thursday. Out of character, the Swedish actor tends to stick with T-shirts and tight jeans or sweats, along with sneakers and slides. But his Succession edgelord tech bro character Lukas Matsson embraced a style of sloppy-Scandinavian dress so diabolical Skarsgård coined a name for it: “Cash-cocking.”
“Cash-cocking,” a portmanteau of “casual” and “peacocking,” might not have the ring of “stealth wealth,” the popular phrase for fashion’s latest memetic trend, the quiet flexing exemplified by the Roy children on Succession. But Skarsgård seems determined to make cash-cocking a thing. “I thought it would be fun,” said the Swedish actor, who worked with the show’s costume designer Michelle Matland to dial in Matsson’s comfortable flashiness.
At Fendi, Skarsgård dressed for a different role: front row superstar. At the brand’s newly-opened leather goods factory where the show was held, he strolled in looking sharp and low-key, in a green bengal stripe button down, brown wool trousers you might imagine Jeremy Strong picking off a rack, and expensive wingtips. “I was a very big boy yesterday, and I picked out my outfit,” he said. But: “I don’t know how to describe it, I don’t know what I’m wearing really, but it spoke to me on a very visual level when I went to the showroom.”
Before the show began and an Ebba-like publicist pulled him away to his seat, I asked Skarsgård to weigh in on the stealth wealth explosion and how Lukas Matsson would get down at fashion week.
GQ: What’s your take on the “stealth wealth” discussion that Succession has stoked?
Alexander Skarsgård: Well, I tried to counter that with a term I came up with called “cash-cocking.” Because my character was very casual, but also peacocking. So it looked like he was wearing sweatpants, but they were $5,000, and then he could be in a $10 T-shirt with a crazy golden, very peacocky, super-expensive jacket. Matsson tried to be kind of like the other end of the spectrum, the polar opposite to the Roys, who were very stealth wealth, with no logos or anything. So I thought it would be fun, instead of doing the kind of monochromatic look, the cashmere with no logo, to kind of lean in a very different direction and make Matsson more peacocky.
Based on what you’re wearing, you seem to be more of a quiet luxury guy yourself.
Well, privately I wouldn’t maybe go quite so luxury I think. I’ve basically worn the same sneakers and the same T-shirt for about three years, probably. It’s all about comfort. If I’m comfortable in something, and it’s a nice fabric that I like, I tend to wear it till there’s no thread left of the shirt—and then it’s gone.
What would Lukas Matsson make of sitting front row at a Fendi show?
I think he’d be really excited about this for several reasons. He’s so hyper and he’s got a little bit of an attention deficit disorder, so I think this would really speak to him. Where it’s a very exciting fashion show, but we’re also in a motherfucking factory, so there’s shit happening and deals are being made upstairs and the product is actually made here. So this would be a thrilling evening for Lukas.
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