Day Two of New York Fashion Week Fall / Winter 2017 consisted of only two shows, Pyer Moss and Layana Aguilar, presented by the team behind Fashion Gallery NYFW. While yesterday’s snowfall might still have had a residual effect on the shows in the early morning, by late this afternoon when we reached Pyer Moss, fashion week was just about back to it’s regular jovial self.
Pyer Moss is very much a designer that one could consider of the moment. While this fashion week will no doubt be rife with social commentary and allusions to the political climate, Kerby Jean-Raymond, the man behind the label, is known to take a very activist approach to his creativity.
Let’s recall their SS 2017 presentation began with synth DJ Austin Millz creating a melodic piano beat while a group of young adults garbed in all white sat or stood tethered to cash registers apparently bored out of their mind. While not the traditional image you anticipate with a fashion show, Pyer Moss tends to find ways to push boundaries. Spoken word broke up the otherwise serene visage, focusing on the reality of a repressive “economy” where societal activism is controlled by money and a system meant to alleviate realities traps an entire race in practicality. One takeaway: The black dollar never qualifies, which was a savvy double-play on racial economics. It was nonetheless a poignant introduction and fast-forward to the FW 2017 presentation, it’s clear to see why there was anticipation around Kerby’s next message / collection.
The latest collection, titled “My Father as I Remember, 1980-1999,” is an ode to his father, whose strict upbringing and encouragement of academic and creative expression kept Kerby away from drugs, gangs and other negative influences in a very rough East Flatbush, Brooklyn during the 1980s through to the next millennia. This included a mixture of songs with a pianist, guitarist and a few singers for good measure. The finale even included a very slow version of Justin Bieber’s “Sorry”. The messages to dad couldn’t have been more clear and the fashion reflected this with modern takes on retro styles from the 80s and 90s, playing off of then popular brands such as Phat Farm, FUBU, Sean John and Coogi as well as the styling and silouhettes. Here are a couple of looks that caught our eye:
The above images are all credited to Now Fashion.
Pyer Moss continues to astound with his theatrical presents that have included short films, spoken word, live DJs and now live song. Almost as much as his continued journey to refine and product high quality streetwear, Pyer Moss is a label to watch for its political and social statements.
Fashion Gallery dedicated an entire showing to Layana Aguilar and it was well deserved. Easily our favorite collection of the evening, there was quite a bit to take in and even more to love about the esteemed designer’s collection.
Layana Aguilar’s Fall / Winter 2017 collection was tilted “Free Creatures”. The Project Runway designer was inspired by, of all things, reading bedtime stories to her song Henzo. Somewhere along this rite of parenthood, Layana became fascinated with the freedom and serenity of insects. Simultaneously strong on the exterior, but fragile on the inside, Layana was reminded of the garments women wear to protect their delicate sensibilities while tackling the world.
A beautiful inspiration story indeed and Layana did not deviate. Her collection featured pieces portraying the essence of butterflies, Picasso bugs and other insects through fabric manipulation and hues ranging from coral to midnight purple punctuated by bright splashes of hologram, pumpkin, rise, gold, copper and silver typically in the silhouette of a butterfly or other crawler. Also, many of the models seemed to have some sort of yellow lace in their hair, which while unexplained, clearly was part of the insectile imagery.
One of the cuter elements was the model’s strutting with selfie sticks and what appeared to be fake iPhones to a largely modern hip hop track, a literal play on strike a pose. And strike a pose the did, as in the finale walk the model’s reemerged to a fully darkened room and hit their best pose for a #mannequinchallenge. It was one of those moments that injected great energy in the room and another reason we really loved this presentation. Layana clearly knows how to play up the crowd.
The rest of Day Two included more parties and less shows but until next time.