Pyer Moss impresses with fashion show honoring black inventors

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This time, the weather gods were smiling at Kerby Jean-Raymond and his label Pyer Moss. The fashion gods were too.

Two days after torrential rains and lightning prompted guests to take cover and forced Jean-Raymond to postpone the unveiling of his highly anticipated first couture collection, the sun rose on Saturday and the crowds returned . They were rewarded with an extremely imaginative visually daring spectacle that blurred the lines between fashion and art while paying homage to the ingenuity of black inventors often overlooked by history.

And so, there was the peanut butter dress – literally a huge, sculpted, soft pot. There was a gorgeous hot roll wrapper – what it looked like, hot rolls from head to toe. There was an ice cream cone with leggings for the cone. There was an air conditioning unit, old fashioned cell phone, kitchen mop.

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There was a pastel pink shade dress with beaded fringes. There was a chess board, a white metal folding chair, and a bottle stopper – each costume was a sophisticated work of sculpture. There was also a refrigerator with colorful magnetic letters spelling out the phrase, “But who invented the dark trauma?”

There were also dancers, a rap musician, a string section and a history lesson from Elaine Brown – activist, writer and former leader of the Black Panther Party.

Jean-Raymond, whose shows always interweave his ideas on fashion with those on culture, race and society, said in an interview after the show that his goal was to “showcase the inventions of blacks and show them in a non-traditional way, “involving 3D construction and sculpture.

All of Pyer Moss’s shows are garnering great interest, but this show got even more buzz because Jean-Raymond was the first black American designer invited by the French Chambre Syndicale to show a collection during Paris Couture Week – l The event was broadcast live, with officials in Paris extending the length of Couture Week to accommodate the postponed parade.

And the setting was deeply meaningful: Villa Lewaro, an early 20th-century mansion in Irvington, New York, about 30 miles from New York City, built by Madame CJ Walker, the daughter of slave parents who became dressing table. self-made tycoon and millionaire.

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Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Couture Show, Black Inventors, Black Fashion and Art, Black American Designer, Indian Express News A mannequin dressed as an air conditioner strikes a pose. (AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews)

“Madame CJ Walker’s wealth was more than money,” Jean-Raymond wrote in the show’s notes. “Black prosperity begins in the mind, in the mind and in each other. She knew that no dollar amount could ever satisfy the price of freedom – that green sheets of paper and copper coins could never mend souls, heal hearts, or mend the evil we have endured.

Charter shuttles carried guests from Manhattan and Brooklyn, and the rescheduled show on Saturday included a contingent of the audience, adding to the excitement in the air.

It started with a speech by Brown, who gave a history lesson on some sort of black struggle for justice in America and asked the crowd, “Where do we go from here? Where does the freedom movement go from here? She urged the crowd to look beyond the differences and “get back on the freedom train.”

Then came the dancers – men in white, who slowly ditched their jackets and eventually their shirts as they accompanied rapper 22Gz performing several acts including “Sniper Gang Freestyle” and “King of NY” as the models roamed the runway. circular.

Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond, Couture Show, Black Inventors, Black Fashion and Art, Black American Designer, Indian Express News A model wearing a pastel pink shade dress with beaded fringes. (AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews)

Jean-Raymond said he and his team went through a demanding and exhaustive process to meet the demands of a couture collection.

“We’ve gone through cycles and design cycles,” he said. “We started with a completely different concept. Then the team went to Joshua Tree and did ayahuasca together. And then we came back with this concept.

“So it wasn’t just sewing in the traditional sense where clothes were sewn,” he said. “There was fiberglass welding and molding. And we made shoes.

Holding the curler alone, he said, took months because “it was just people sitting there and winding real weaves onto curlers. You know, the bottle cap took two months. Every time we did something, we would sit down, we would think, ‘How can we improve it? And each time, the construction got complicated.

Jean-Raymond was relieved to no longer have to face the capricious weather on Saturday.

“It has been a long, long process to get to where we are right now,” he said. “But I’m very happy with the results and that the public gave us a second chance, after Thursday’s monsoon almost wiped us out.”

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