Runway show concepts can be pretty out-there, but Telfar may have just taken things to the next level.
At the label’s fall ’19 show during New York Fashion Week, models crowdsurfed through the attendees of Irving Plaza, a popular music venue that looked no different for last night’s show than the usual crowds during a concert.
For the show, titled “Country,” designer Telfar Clemens worked with playwright Jeremy Harris to develop a show that functioned more as a performance art piece than as an opportunity to view clothing.
Dancers, singers, a rapper and a punk band caught models as they fell into the crowd, while music samples of R&B, rap and blues played in the background. (Oyinda, Butch Dawson and Robert Randolph were among the performers who participated in the show.)
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While the trust falls and crowdsurfing may have seemed lighthearted, the show tackled a deep message: the state of race relations in the U.S. Clemens focused on the duality of the word “Country” as both the simple reference to land and the more complex reference to a nation, with laws, borders and traditions. He also paid homage to Black History Month, flipping it on its head and calling it instead “Black Future(s) Month.”
As for the clothes, they felt distinctly American. Corduroy, denim and leather boots abounded.
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