A former face of Givenchy and a controversial designer take fashion week by storm.
The storm before the show
Kerby Jean-Raymond has made creating hype around his Fashion Week shows days before he debuts his collections for his brand Pyer Moss a habit. Last September, when the 28-year-old presented his Spring 2016 line —and debuted womenswear— it was announced two weeks before the show that the young designer would also be playing a short film during the show discussing police brutality had the industry talking, this year it was no different. Following the same two week time frame as the previous season, it was reported that not only would this upcoming collection narrate what it’s like to be black in America but that Grammy award-winning artist Erykah Badu would be styling the show. Having the former face of Givenchy —and the mastermind behind Baduizm— attached to his upcoming runway show brought the masses out to Milk Studios to see what the duo would offer.
Design with purpose
This season, Jean-Raymond tackled depression and mental illness. A choir and small orchestra performed tunes from Fetty Wap and Future while hoodies with medicine side effects layered under a double breasted fur coat and a sweatshirt with pill popping graphics hit the runway. Police hats with pins that read Xanax and Prozac accessorized denim bomber jacket and double layered trouser while other models wore Badu’s personal sunglasses. Highlights include puffer button down shirts with puffer overalls and mustard colored striped drawstring pants. The last look —a long sleeve denim top and jeans— paid respects to Black Lives Matter activist MarShawn McCarrel. Days after attending the NAACP Image Awards the 23-year-old committed suicide and his last Facebook post read “My Demons Won Today. I’m Sorry.” To pay respects, the model carry a picket sign with the same words written on it.
Even though Jean-Raymond’s time as a designer has been short —he started in 2013— he has quickly commanded the attention of the entire fashion industry. He’s using his platform push controversial conversations to the forefront and he it just so happens that he does it with good looking clothes.
Words: Nigel Isaiah