Politics are beginning to look like a common trend for the New York Fashion Week stage this year. But with it being an election year – and with the major controversies surrounding the candidates – it has all been staying totally in context. And here, from Opening Ceremony, we are seeing designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim take a stab at things. Rather than showing a spring collection for 2017, Leon and Lim have opted for a see-now-buy-now line for fall instead, which is a decision that was reached by the label back in May of this year.
The showing for their first in-season collection was especially personal for the designers as well. Both are first generation Americans and decided to create a line that celebrated what it meant to be an immigrant in the United States. And since this whole season is about politics and controversy surrounding immigration, there was no better time to present such a collection, nor could there have been better designers to pull it off so well.
“With the timing of where we’re at in terms of the election, Carol and I wanted there to be a message, and there’s no better way to do it than with entertainment,” Leon explained in an interview with WWD that took place before the show walked the runway. “We invited people in our community, our friends and family, to speak. Some are just going to be funny, and some are going to speak on things that are thought-provoking and important to us.”
That same concept was reflected in the clothes, remarkably enough. Some were “funny,” in that they just made you smile when you saw them – sometimes due to color or mixed patterns and other times due to the scale of details like shoulders. But it was even hard for the audience to focus directly on the clothes at times due to the large presence of stars that gave appearances and spoke.
First of all, the event was emceed by “Portlandia” stars Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, so the audience knew they were in for a great show. But it just kept getting better as each familiar face had their chance to walk and speak in an Opening Ceremony number, in what the designing duo dubbed a “Pageant of the People,” and homage to “the American democratic process of the diversity of those who participate in it” in their notes for the show.
Aubrey Plaza, Rashida Jones, Whoopi Goldberg, Jessica Williams, Natasha Lyonne, Rowan Blanchard, and Alia Shawkat took turns speaking about political issues regarding topics like the crisis surrounding refugees around the world and feminism on the broader spectrum – and, of course, there was a lot of humor mixed in for good measure!
The fashion took the backseat for these speakers, but in the long run it was undoubtedly worth it, and likely will only bolster sales over a slightly extended period of time. The political-comedy was balanced by the serious measure taken where those in attendance could actually register to vote right on site, thanks to Rock the Vote.
As far as the actual clothes go, we loved the outerwear (which came from a partnership with Canada Goose) that was shown for fall and winter. The other garments were fun, flirty, and feminine, which the brand intentionally did for the season – and why shouldn’t they have?
The Opening Ceremony fall 2016 see-now-buy-now collection became all about celebrating the female form on a larger than life platform that will go unrivaled for the rest of fashion week. Seeing all of these pieces on these select stars already definitely has us excited to see them on the street in the coming weeks and months!
Photos courtesy of Vogue