Sister. Pyer Moss SS20

After one season hiatus, Pyer Moss is back. And it’s really good. 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.” There were obvious nods to Tharpe’s musicianship: the shape of her guitar was threaded through the curvy lapels of satin coats, and the most literal reference was a guitar-shaped handbag. There were subtle nods to her style too: a slightly monastic scarlet silk tunic layered over matching satin pants, for example. Tharpe wasn’t the only black musician on the Pyer Moss mood board. Look closely at the chunky gold beads that were threaded onto braids and strung on statement necklaces, and you will notice the spirit of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu. The rousing soundtrack included songs by several more legendary black female artists, like Missy Elliott. During the finale, the gospel sang Cardi B’s already-iconic Money and the audience went crazy. Not only music plays a crucial role in Kerby’s creative process. After last season’s partnership with Derrick Adams, Jean-Raymond sought out the talent of Richard Phillips, an artist who recently made headline news after he was exonerated after spending 45 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. Pyer Moss doesn’t only educate on culture. The brand also gets political (“Vote or Die (For real this Time)” slogan on a tank-top actually conveys a meaning, not just some empty words) and… makes you want the clothes! They aren’t heavy due to the weight of references behind them. It’s worth mentioning that the designer is also the new artistic director at Reebok, and his athleisure offering in the end of the show well balanced the collection. Take a better look at this label, I tell you!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

CFDA 2018 Winners

Pyer Moss SS19

I’m always thrilled to see how talents are finally spotted and then rightly backed up. Congratulations to the 2018 CFDA / Vogue Fashion Fund winner, Pyer Moss. Designer Kerby Jean-Raymond accepted the CVFF award (from actress Emily Blunt) yesterday, following a dinner and fashion show held in the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. Pyer Moss has been lauded for its beautiful and intelligent celebration of black culture in America. The designer makes activism a crucial component of his brand, being as well vocal about current problems that America faces today – from the current president to widespread social injustice. Interesting to see how the award helps Pyer Moss expand with its powerful vision. But there isn’t just one winner at CFDA. Taking home one of the two runner-up prizes for this year is Emily Bode of the menswear brand Bode. Last year, Bode became one of the few women to showcase at the sleepy New York Fashion Week: Men’s – because, one could say, she knows what the boys want (think a rugby jacket in the brightest shade of orange; loosely fit vintage-y suits; The Darjeeling Limited inspired, hand-dyed t-shirts). Now in its second year, the label has been praised for its sustainable practices and focus on craft. To be honest, Bode is a brand I wish I had in my wardrobe – just look at the label’s new season offering. The second runner-up prize went to Jonathan Cohen. The designer launched his namesake brand in 2011, and has been steadily gaining recognition for easy-breezy pieces, which makes getting dressed as simple as dipping into one of his feminine dresses with intriguing finishings. From this year’s finalists, I also had major hopes for Batsheva (you might have seen one of those already cult prairie dresses here or there) and Matthew Adams Dolan (the Rihanna and SZA dresser who makes all-American uniforms look fashion). As Anna Wintour summed up this year’s winners, “their work highlights a high degree of creativity and a deep-rooted commitment to the notion of community. They’re not only a credit to the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund as it celebrates its 15th anniversary, but also to the optimism and inclusivity of the very best American fashion.” Once again, big congrats!

Pyer Moss SS19

Bode SS19 and AW18

Jonathan Cohen SS19

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.