Finally, A Fashion Show That Addressed #NoDAPL

Photo: Brian Ach/Getty Images.
Dozens and dozens of fashion shows comprise the New York Fashion Week calendar each season, and this week's showings have, overall, been the most political we've seen in some time. A number of labels used their runways to tackle today's issues, like Mara Hoffman and Public School. Some designers have literally taken to the mic to share important messages before revealing their collections, like Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport; last night, Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, whose fall 2017 collection was inspired by both the protests of the Dakota Access Pipeline and a complex homage to his father, took the same approach.

The designer presented what he's calling the first installment of a four-part collection (the remaining segments will be unveiled in upcoming months), and he dedicated the show to his father, who was seated in the front row. Titled "Stories About My Parents: Part I, My Father As I Remember From 1980 - 1999," Jean-Raymond's collection of menswear looks was shown on a diverse, coed cast of models, to an audience that was supposed to be an intimate, 50-person crowd (the extra standing room filled up quickly).

Jean-Raymond was one of the many protestors at Standing Rock, and after his trip to there, he said one of the things that stood out to him was the tribe's respect for elders. Pyer Moss' four-part series is inspired by that value; Jean-Raymond admitted to his show's attendees that respecting his own elders is something he needs to work on in his own life. As a live choir sang a sort of battle hymn in several different languages, Jean-Raymond's message felt especially spiritual, in keeping with his past runway shows, which have served as forum for the designer to communicate his political and cultural ruminations.

Some takeaways from his fall '17 collection include a fresh twist on the political statement tee, velvet varsity stripes served up in a fresh color palette (think: winter green, deep purple, and infra red), sweatsuits with an athluxury touch, and bold blazers, accented with colorful tailoring, bright buttons, and white Reeboks. All of this, of course, will make for stellar street style photographs, or refreshing updates to timeless closet staples. But thanks to the collection's very personal underpinnings, what may look like a well-constructed pair of plaid trousers carries a much deeper narrative.