There’s fashion shows, and then there’s fashion SHOWS. The second category is where Telfar SS19 belongs in – this New York Fashion Week presentation a full-bodied spectacle celebrating all the best of America. But not the tumultuous, Trumpy one. This was about the Telfar Clemens’ version of USA. Where lands are free, the landscapes are stunning and there’s plenty of shelter to go around. It’s a beautiful utopia, recreating the best of traditional American dressing codes into a subversive, highly sexualised but genderless echelon.
There’s the collegiate knits and sporty jerseys borrowed from conservative uniforms and brought into the Telfar tribe. All-American symbols like the Budweiser logo and the Star-Spangled Banner are converted into Clemens’ own branding elements. Beyond this layer of subversiveness, the actual clothes were wearable pieces that are bound to become the wardrobe staples of the New America. This was just a great reminder of why exactly Telfar won the $400k from the Vogue Fashion Fund and an even better showcase of where this money went to. Product-development, brand growth and sharpening the eye of the personal aesthetic. It was like he won the jackpot, and now we’re sharing the prize.
It was just a few months before his last season’s show that Clemens won the Vogue Fashion Fund. For AW18, he held a concert-like presentation with less than two looks. After his latest show, it’s apparent that last season was just a little taster of what was to come. If that one was a festival gig, this was an arena concert. Set at the BLADE Lounge East helictoper pad set in collab with SO-IL architecture firm who produced this site-specific installation that’s part of BOFFO Building Fashion, the show featured a stellar model cast walking around a group of musicians including Moses Sumney, Oyinda and Butch Dawson. They were all, of course, dressed in head-to-toe Telfar. As it rained, the finale led by the Pose actress India Moore was stomping in unison, sending the world a clear message: “This is America.”