Pyer Moss streaks across the Fashion Week firmament
After two highly commended shows in February and September 2018, followed by a pause last season, American designer and founder of Pyer Moss, Kerby Jean-Raymond's latest collection constituted the much-anticipated conclusion to his trilogy riffing on Afro-American heritage. With "Sister", dedicated to singer Rosetta Tharpe (1915-1973), whose mixture of gospel and the blues is considered to be one of the first iterations of rock'n'roll, the Haitian-born designer did not disappoint.
Kings Theater, in Flatbush, Brooklyn, provided the perfect venue, and all 3,000 of its seats were filled for the occasion. On stage, a choir of more than 60 was accompanied by an orchestra as they sang their way through a varied range of classics of Afro-American music, from soul to rap.
With a 100% black and mixed-race cast, Pyer Moss celebrated Afro-American beauty, skilfully mixing references from different eras to create a precise and sophisticated collection. Menswear silhouettes with strong shoulders and flared pants were given a feminine twist, while sculptural womenswear pieces exhibited sleeves that had been crafted with exacting attention to detail. The materials chosen for both men and women were opulent, with silk proving to be a decided favorite.
After the show, Jean-Raymond explained that he wanted to invent the aesthetic of black rock, a movement sacrificed to white domination when the musical genre was picked up by Caucasian artists. However, the designer also stated that his next collection will not be dedicated to Afro-American culture. "That's not my thing. I'm not a race guy. I care about people," he said. "I'm going to speak to different things that matter to me." At 32 years old, the celebrated designer was recently put in charge of a new fashion line being developed by sports equipment brand Reebok.
He remains fiercely protective of his creative freedom. "I don't care about selling clothes," he explained to a group of journalists after the show. "We could be making a lot more money," he said. "but I refuse to just make anything without a meaning."
Translated by Robin Driver
Copyright © 2019 AFP. All rights reserved. All information displayed in this section (dispatches, photographs, logos) are protected by intellectual property rights owned by Agence France-Presse. As a consequence you may not copy, reproduce, modify, transmit, publish, display or in any way commercially exploit any of the contents of this section without the prior written consent of Agence France-Presses.