In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! Kerby Jean-Raymond‘s spring-summer 2020 collection, presented in Brooklyn’s Kings Theater in Weeksville and entitled Sister, is the third and final chapter in the Pyer Moss’ “American, Also” trilogy – and it paid homage to Sister Rosetta Tharpe. A singer-songwriter who rose to popularity in the 1930s and 1940s, Tharpe is widely considered to be the godmother of rock & roll, though her legacy has been diminished in music’s history book. “I think relatively few people know that the sound of rock and roll was invented by a queer black woman in a church,” Jean-Raymond told Vogue backstage. “I wanted to explore what that aesthetic might have looked like if her story would have been told.” Sending you to my review of this beautiful collection right here!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.
In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! Haitian-born, New York-based designer Victor Glemaud launched his eponymous leisurewear collection of statement knitwear, designed for all people, genders, races, sizes and personalities, marrying comfort and style, in 2006. The designer was a finalist in the 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund and honored for his achievements by the Ambassador of Haiti to the United States. For his recent collection – autumn-winter 2020 – Victor used three materials: merino wool, cotton cashmere, and a merino-cotton-ramie blend. Glemaud’s unparalleled sense of color makes his knitted garments even more compelling. A lavender-tomato back-to-front knit set is a highlight. Within his ringer midi dresses and pooling flares are a variety of stitched details that amplify the power of his clothes. His coats, actually fully knit, have the weigh and potency of felted wool. But the best thing Glemaud did on his runway (his first) was show his clothing on a glamorous cast of people of all types. As his turban-clad models – an homage to both his friend Camilla Staerk and the women he grew up with – sauntered around a lounge in the SoHo Grand hotel, audience members could be heard whispering, picking out a must-have pant or bolero sweater. That kind of inclusivity translates to real customers who will be delighted at the prospect of wearing a square-neck minidress with Nike sneakers. Looking back at his previous collections, the autumn-winter 2019 look-book starring Indya Moore, the incredible trans actress from Pose, makes you dream of all the tangerine knits. Pre-fall 2020 has seen Glemaud leaning into his grooviest, hip-swiveling impulses, filled with gorgeous crochet dresses, tunics, and flares. Discover Glemaud’s universe here.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki, photos of Victor Glemaud‘s looks from autumn-winter 2020, pre-fall 2020 and autumn-winter 2019.
In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! Christopher John Rogers is definitely one of New York’s brightest stars among young and independent designers. Baton Rouge–born, Brooklyn-based designer is known for resurrecting glamour, and his whimsical take on eveningwear (think cascading tulle, slimming taffeta suits, pleated skirts) that got Rihanna, Michelle Obama, Lizzo, Cardi B, SZA and Tracee Ellis Ross obsessed and take it to the red carpet. Moreover, Chistopher became one of the 2019 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalists – this only motivated him to buckle down further. His autumn-winter 2020 is the perfect balance between dramatic gowns and statement pieces that you will love in your day-to-day wardrobe. Spanning a full 40 looks, Rogers’s show had his signature silhouettes – there was the bulbous strawberry-shaped waist, which reappeared on the runway in violet, and he worked in some past references, like Pierrots, the French cinematic clowns that informed last season’s ruffled necklines. As for new inspirations, he cited trash bags, of all things – he told Vogue that a curtain brushing the floor in a Renaissance painting has the same energy as a crumpled garbage bag – and mid-century couturier Madame Grès, whose later work skewed more graphic and progressive than the goddess-draped gowns that made her famous. But what really makes the collection stand out is the masterful combination of bold colours and gorgeous fabrics. Whereas before Rogers had to be resourceful with his textiles, often working with deadstock materials, now he’s able to make patterns and sumptuous fabrics factory-made for his brand. “All of the things that my team and I have been dreaming up, we were able to execute on a level that you haven’t seen from us before,” Rogers summed up. The label is now producing on a larger scale thanks to a purchase from Net-a-Porter. In thinking about the potential commercial nature of his work, Rogers cited the popularity of that strawberry silhouette. “For something that morphs the shape so much, which maybe historically hasn’t been seen as flattering, women from a size 0 to a 14 have ordered the dress,” he said. “It goes to show that it’s not about dressing for the world—it’s about dressing for yourself. We’re not out here making 2,000 units of anything. We’re trying to make a few things for the few people who love it, and really make things that will last.” I can’t wait to see what this designer has in store for the upcoming seasons, looking forward to more of his fantastic splendor!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki featuring artworks by the late Christo; selected looks from Christopher John Rogers‘ SS20 and AW20 collections.
I stand with the Black community.
Racism is alive and well in America, and not only – I as well mean Europe here. We must be all vocal about the problem. We must spread awareness, donate if we can, educate ourselves and others, engage in conversations, look forward to change, rethink our actions. Do something, take action! Work everyday – not just for a week or for a day – to dismantle racism. To learn more about the Black Lives Matter movement, click here.
In the light of the extremely sad and disturbing events that have happened in the past few days – and not only – I would like to state that my site, my work and my outlook always stand with the black community. Racism is alive in America, and in the world, and we must be vocal about it (the way you personally choose to). I believe that educating yourself, having conversations (private and public) and spreading actual awareness is much more meaningful than just reposting a slogan on your social media feed (even though doing this little is better than nothing). I also think that in the creative industries – the one I can speak for – reflecting personal beliefs should be more than welcomed. Other than this, donate (click here and here), share links (here, here and here), support! You can even buy the dress Rihanna wore by Asai, and the entire 300 pounds it costs will be donated to three charities – just DM the designer with your order or send him an e-mail. In the domain I’m most active in – fashion – I feel like the situation should be highlighted as well, and more designers and brands should join that dialogue. On my side, I want to introduce you to the most exciting, emerging, independent black designers out there, who are often overlooked during fashion weeks or simply underrated. Their stories and visions shape and inspire today’s industry, we should all acknowledge that!
Starting with Mowalola. The Lagos-born designer Mowalola Ogunlesi arrived to London when she was a kid. At first she planned medicine as her life path, but in the end she went to Central Saint Martins. Three years ago, she presented her diploma collection dedicated to contemporary Africa. She made waves – fashion insiders and international magazines were obsessed. Mawolola’s vision was completely one-of-a-kind: through sexy, at points kinky garments she managed to convey the power of erotic tension in the times of social uncertainty. “In my country, I grew up with sexuality being very judged. So I wanted to transform people’s ideas of what sexy is. That it’s okay to show skin”, she told Vogue Runway. To embrace her origins, the designer chose psychodelic rock from Nigeria as her main reference, and her music inspirations lead to creating the new romantic menswear. Mowalola models wore sultry leather jackets, low-waisted super-slim pants and skin-baring crop tops with assymetrical cuts. All that kept in bold colours, reminding her of the Nigerian landscapes and streets. For her spring-summer 2020 collection, presented with Fashion East, Mowalola expanded her unique take on men’s fashion. Her signatures were styled with belts buckled with sacred and profane symbols: a cross, a religious icon, the Stars and Stripes, the words “sexy” and “mother fucker”. “I base it on what I’m going through – I’ve just fallen in love for the first time; I feel as if no one talks about the horrific side, the dangers of love, of losing control of your emotions and feeling like you’re crazy. It’s like how I see a horror movie!” she related. “So this is as if I’m in a black Woodstock Festival, and someone has been murdered.” See selected looks from her collections below, I can’t wait to see what she’s up to in the upcoming seasons. Make sure to follow her on Instagram and take a look at some of the pieces available from her on ssese.com!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki