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The People's Runway

Left - Zhongming Yuan

Right - Zo V Fielder

Young fashionistas flock to New York in order to learn about themselves, and experiment with their craft. Part of the difficulty with noting talent is the sheer abundance of it. With seven billion people on Earth, and one million creatives in this town, we are simultaneously blessed, and cursed, with stimuli. In an Information Age, we all have something to say; something to critique.

Left - Ran Lauren Lou

Right - Amethyst Euimi Lee

The excess of life is reflected in these designers’ work, whether that’s subjectively “good” or “bad”. When one thinks of excess, maximalism is the first thought. These bold designers are not afraid of making a statement — scratch that — declaration. Head to toe red leather (Ran Lauren Lou), or hair to heel quilted polka dots (Amethyst Euimi Lee) warn us to look, but don’t touch.

Left - Ivy Bogart

Right - Kyemah McEntyre

Of course, on the opposite end of the spectrum: you don’t need to yell to ring loud, and clear. From embroidery (William Rochelle) and beading (Helena Wang) to intricate pleats (Zo V Fielder), intimate attention to details exude a quiet strength. When one adorns a more minimal cloak, it’s not that they have nothing to say — they’re more interested in listening first.

Left - Helena Wang

Right - William Rochelle

In 2019, it is hard to ignore any political undercurrents when it comes to fashion. After all, clothes, an incremental part of culture, always reflect our collective calling cards. Post #MeToo, and in the heat of America’s war on women, the next generation of couturiers, are seeking to further empower women through their dressage. It doesn’t matter if the armour is silver, or red; chain mail, or spiked; it still serves the same function. Therefore, no matter how revealing, or not, a woman’s wardrobe is — one law remains: my body is my own. And today’s woman is not afraid to remind you.

Lead image feautring Jose Luis Cabrera.

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