Telfar: Ready-To-Wear SS20
When he decided to use his slot on the NYFW schedule as a screening event for a 6-minute preview of his upcoming collection, Telfar Clemens definitely raised an eyebrow or two. But his brand – and more importantly his bags – have already conquered the American continent. You can’t walk a block in New York without being hit by one of his tote in either of the three sizes. Their colour offering keeps extending, as Clemens continues to make his dream of becoming the next Michael Kors a reality. This was definitely the right time for Telfar as a brand to make the trans-Atlantic leap and show off his new ideas, having already hosted an event in London as a preview of his SS19 collection. Paris is still the pinnacle of the fashion month, and the CFDA/ Vogue Fashion Fund winner knows it’s the next step in fulfilling the potential of leading a global brand.
The collection? A natural progression of Telfar toying with All-American stereotypes being interpreted by the creative conversation of a queer black man. References to clichés we associate with USA are given a totally new meaning by the process of re-contextualisation – a collaboration with Budweiser comes back for the third time, the beer brand’s emblems appearing throughout the show on a range of pieces. There’s elements borrowed from collegiate style with jumpers, knits and sporty t-shirts, now reinforced with a straightforward military layer, bringing in usually drab colours of beiges, grays and khakis as well as utilitarian pockets and uniform-like cuts. Joined by fishnets poking out of tracksuit bottoms and an undeniable power of sensuality, all this pastiche suddenly becomes sexy.
Each season, the tees feature looks from previous collection – this time, it’s the quasi-patriotic inspirations from AW19’s Country collection. Arguably the strongest part of the collection, and the one that shows the most promise in developing into the next mass product, is Telfar’s denim. Jeans that aren’t just that have the kind of appeal that will, with the help of the brand’s many global retailers, find their way into wardrobes around the world. Hopefully, ours included.