West 18th Fashion Show Recap
A single black thread intertwines with fabric, creating a stitch that binds material and loosens conformity. From conception to construction, the vision of a fashion designer is a reflection of their experiences and individuality. There’s history, strength and rebellion concealed in the intricacies of a garment.
On June 8th, 2019, at dusk, designers bore their souls to a receptive audience through wearable art at West 18th Street’s Summer Adorned fashion show. Here’s what the curators had to say about fashion, inclusivity and authenticity:
Kayla: How do you balance trends while maintaining authenticity in your creative process?
Christopher Bender, Designer: I love trends. Like that western revamp that’s going on, I’m all about it. The mix of hip and country. Other than that I look at a lot of like, club culture. New York club kids, like the not famous ones, I think are some of the most stylish people out there. They’re so consumed in mass city production that they wear what’s out there and make it a little more authentic. I’m not trying to be trendy, I’m trying to show that I have knowledge of what is happening with fashion now. Being aware is the only way that you can be relevant.
Kayla: How do you ensure that your brand is inclusive?
Missy Isamoore of Sew UnRelaxed: Start by representing. What are places in fashion that I feel need representation. I feel like plus size is definitely a need. I also feel like models of color are also a need. So I like to make sure that my line is representative - if nothing else - in those two ways. I also look for different size models. I’m not looking for a standard height or weight.
Kayla: What do you think qualifies you to be a designer? In creative positions I feel like qualifications are much less restrictive.
Nataliya Meyer of Oblivion Clothing Design: To be honest, it’s only passion. I meet all kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds and it has nothing to do with anyone else. Of course there are personal standards to everything. What identifies me as a designer is extensive work and some sort of taste, but I feel like in general I meet all kinds of people that are great but they just don’t work. You have to constantly produce.
Passion is a precursor to creation. Before models can flaunt meticulously tailored garb, an idea must be conceived and brought to fruition. Whether inspired by lack of representation or the latest trend, these creatives thrive on their individual motivations to create.
Fashion is deeper than the compilation of prints and silhouettes. It’s in the way we repurpose items, blur the lines between masculinity and femininity, and outwardly embrace the quirks that make us unique.
Words by Kayla Jones-White
Photos by Deian Brooks