Fashion industry with slow but sure steps approaching diversity. And although lookbooks like the ones released by Opening Ceremony with non-professional models already seem familiar, the fashion world has something to strive for. The marathon of shows in New York has just ended, which turned out to be remarkable not so much because of the collections, but because of the number of atypical participants. People with different health characteristics, external parameters and self-determination appeared on the podiums. We have selected eight of the most visible shows.
Text: Anna Eliseeva
Maryam Nassir Zadeh
Maryam Nassir Zadeh became famous for her eponymous bohemian boutique with famous brands and a line of minimalist shoes launched in 2012. Later, Zadeh began to create her own collections of relaxed clothes, which, however, can hardly be called laconic. In spite of the severity that has conquered the catwalks and wardrobes of fashion bloggers, Zadeh encourages women to dress more spontaneously and not be afraid of "forbidden" combinations.
It cannot be said that the shows of Maryam Nassir Zadeh are very diverse, but non-standard models, including age ones, often participate in them. For example, at the last show appeared the fashion designer and artist Susan Cianciolo, who has been collaborating with the designer for several seasons.
Since the inception of the brand in 2011, Zoe Latta and Mike Eckhouse have not set clear gender boundaries in their designs. Designers cooperate with a variety of models - both people of conventional appearance and with parameters atypical for the industry. For example, the spring-summer 2018 show was widely discussed thanks to the appearance of a pregnant model on the catwalk, and collector Thea Westreich Wagner took part in the fall-winter show of the same year. The latest show featured artist Susan Cianciolo and plus-size model Paloma Elsesser.
Deveaux collections are gender-neutral. In February last year, renowned street photographer Tommy Ton became the creative director of the New York brand, founded by Matthew Brin and Andrea Cao, who introduced the women's line, although before that the brand had positioned itself as “masculine”. Nevertheless, the latest Deveaux show proves that the division of clothing into any categories is just a convention. It was attended by both women and men of different ages: for example, the oldest participant was eighty-two years old, Joanie Johnson was sixty-seven, and Marianne Elizabeth was fifty-one years old. They tried on relaxed coats, raincoats, trousers, overalls, jackets and more - all loose fit and discreet shades.
One of the few brands at fashion weeks that consistently collaborates with different models - usually non-standard ones. “Every body is worthy of love and acceptance,” the official website says. According to founder Becky McCharen-Tran, the brand strives to create beachwear that fits perfectly to anyone. Models with different body types, different ages and skin colors, transgender people, as well as people with disabilities participate in Chromat shows. So, once again the blogger Mama Kaks, models Diandra Forrest and Maya Monet took to the podium.
The Man Repeller journalist drew a parallel between the Chromat and Victoria's Secret shows: according to Harling Ross, the palm leaves attached to the models' shoulders referred exactly to the wings of angels. At the same time, she is confident that it is brands like Chromat that shape the future of the industry. However, there is another explanation for such a detail: the brand strives to use recycled materials (in particular, nylon, created from fishing nets and plastic bottles), so the theme of the show was sustainable development. This time, the brand decided to pay special attention to the pollution of the oceans: accessories were made as if from different garbage - candy wrappers, nets, bags and cans.
In 2013, four designers - Patrick DiCaprio, Bryn Taubensee, David Moses and Claire Sully - founded Vaquera with the goal of disrupting luxury and diversifying fashion - and it's not just about design. Models of different ages, body and height parameters each season try on the brand's deconstructed outfits - mocking quotes and exaggerated versions of what others show. The parody model walk at the Vaquera shows also became an organic part of the show - the audience remembered, for example, the appearance of Natsumi Takahashi. Russian model Dasha Shevik, Coltrane Ferrer, Christian Guzman and others also took part in the show.
Christian Siriano stands out from his colleagues in that every season he invites several plus-size models, and sometimes men, who show off traditionally women's clothing. This was the case, for example, in the 2019 spring-summer show. The last show was attended by such plus-size models as Precious Lee, Candice Huffin, Markita Pring, Chloe Vero and others. And the designer is constantly collaborating with Ashley Graham, who just closed the last show.
Hillary Teimour founded the brand in 2009 for “independent people who will wear her clothes based on their unique vision”; first of all, it was brought to fame by easily recognizable bags and backpacks. Now the designer is trying to actualize the work with the help of themes that are constantly heard, whether it be agender fashion or sologamy. The latest collection of Teimour is a kind of repentance for the ecology of the planet. The designer dedicated her to everything she continues to do despite the damage from buying plastic bottles, delivering food or ordering on Amazon. So, all clothes were made from previously used fabrics, and 4ocean accessories from recycled waste.
Every show of the brand is attended by men, as well as non-standard models - of different ages and with various body types. The latter, for example, featured Janet Mervyn modeling in the 80s and 90s.
The American brand Gypsy Sport, founded in 2012, has been striking in all aspects from the very beginning: clothing design, show organization and model selection. Designer Rio Uribe creates avant-garde clothing for literally everyone. On the one hand, it doesn't matter who is showing off lace pajamas, translucent slips, corsets, tights and beaded bodices, and on the other, each such outlet is a challenge to the industry.
You may remember Monroe Bergdorf - she was the first transgender model to work with L'Oréal. Erica Hart, a breast cancer survivor, who at the show gave up a bra altogether, choosing only a high-cut skirt, has already become the star of the catwalk. Maya Monet could also be seen on the show.