Illustration by Hilton Dresden
Vaquera’s show Sunday night at NYFW was easily the strongest of the season with its cheeky subversion of classic Americana tropes, like the flag and Tiffany & Co. The collection included everything from Gaultier cone bras to 30+ foot star spangled trains and cartoonish hats rising at least a yard into the air. And yet, as absurd and irreverent as the collection absolutely was, each look felt distinctly chic, of-the-moment, and, somehow, extremely wearable. Every it-girl in the room left wondering how to get their hands on a Tiffany blue assless sack for their next red carpet appearance.
Among our favorite looks: a soon-to-be infamous gown constructed from the American flag, with a train so long we found ourselves shrieking with laughter as it snaked behind its model for foot after foot. We were also obsessed with a boxy red jacket reminiscent of Demna Gvasalia’s Spring ’17 show. A goofy tall hat evocative of the bearskins of ceremonial European military garb left us breathless and feeling naked on our heads.
“All fashion is referential, the New York-based fashion collective told OUT. “It’s absurd to pretend that you are creating something absolutely new in 2017. Instead, we embrace our references. Our work is about combining them in unexpected ways and recontextualizing tired ideas so that they seem fresh.”
On their favorite pieces from the collection, Vaquera said, “It’s exciting to make something super wearable, but I think we get the most excited about our more conceptual show pieces. The American Flag debutant dress, melting Oscar gown and chef/bride were all standouts this season.”
The show was bold in its pairing of high-class pseudo-French elegance with industrial, worksman garb. It’s assymetrical silhouettes, bizarre styling and consistent nods to a warped nation felt beautifully political and the “fuck you” to both our nation and safe fashion that we’ve been begging for. We were left awestruck, excited and hungry to begin our new style chapter of art freak-meets-Audrey Hepburn-meets-mechanic-meets-high-class escort.
“One of the only upsides to having someone in the White House that the vast majority of America distrusts is the unifying power of the resistance movement,” Vaquera said. “We are hoping to see some of the rebellious spirit of the Bush years return to pop culture. We wanted to express how disappointed we are with the current state of American politics without being completely pessimistic. Positivity and hope are essential.”
Check out the full collection here.