“POWER, MONEY, FAME” read the words printed in bright colours on a white t-shirt that opened the Vaquera SS19 show. The presentation started with a statement that was an indication of the collection to come. The cast featured an array of familiar faces – and we’re not just talking about the fan art drawings of Hollywood heartthrobs on the t-shirts worn by Hood By Air stylist Akeem Smith – the models/friends of the design trio included a wide-eyed Matthew Schneier (The New York Times‘s style reporter) and Document Journal‘s Shawn Lakin.
1980s US high school references, with a side of the supernatural ran throughout. Varsity lettering got its way into prints alongside globes and pencils appearing on a pair of jeans, a top was entirely made out of tin whistles. There were even American football-inspired shoulder pads, with one of the models wearing a dress fabricated from tracksuit material and clutching shiny silver cheerleader pompoms. It was all summed up in a fantastically maximal final look – a take on an all-round American royal blue graduation gown given its shape by a cage crinoline and petticoats, finished with an oversized mortar board hat.
Proceedings took place against a backdrop of the PS42M Benjamin Altman School on the Lower East Side. With the smudged make-up and tousled hair it was like the morning after the night before, that night being the greatest prom ever. We wish we’d enrolled in Vaquera High.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.