By: Isiah S Magsino
In a recent Instagram post, I made the claim that New York designers seem to have gone for the same thing this season: minimal. From Proenza Schouler's divergence from her usual feminine collections, to The Row’s sharp edges and angular silhouettes, show goers are seeing a consistent storyline of contemporary motifs. Is this boring? Maybe, maybe not. The way I described it to a friend of mine went something like this: The looks are good for everyday wear, but, on the runway? Questionable. Calvin Luo, though hinting at the everlasting contemporary collections, may have found a spot in-between.
Beginning with a slow drum beat to introduce the collection and building up to a downtown disco club soundtrack, Luo’s fall/winter 2019 collection was a mix of many, many different worlds.
One of the worlds found was the western themed trend that was recently popularized in the previous season. Western denim patchwork with white piping seemed to be a regular in the show and had me wondering if maybe, just maybe, the western styled clothing was still considered cool.
But shortly after the first few western looks, Luo added the disco feel to his clothes that would ultimately reflect the transition in his soundtrack. Audiences were suddenly taken downtown as the models transitioned from rugged westerners to downtown disco queens. Latex sleeves and prints with demented “Calvin Luo” branding took the runway and it was as if the event featured a whole new designer at a whole new show.
It’s no secret that Luo’s Fall/Winter collection had many elements that, at some points in the show, got lost within one another. I wasn’t sure where Luo’s collection was taking audiences, nor am I sure where it left them. However, the final world (apparently I’m interested in the cosmos now) that I found consistent in the collection was the gender fluidity and blurring between masculine and feminine constructions of clothing.
We’ve heard it all before--”Gender Fluid Clothing.” How groundbreaking. However, Luo seemed to have done it in such a discreet way, preventing his signature style to eclipse the added elements to his newest collection. Gender-bending wasn’t thrown in the audiences faces, but rather noticed if one took the time to wonder, Who can wear this? How can I wear this?
It was the realization during and after the show that Luo’s collection wasn’t binded into either male or female wearers that led to an overall appreciation for the show. It was a statement. A very, very discreet statement that still perpetuated the message of how fashion is ultimately turning.