Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Babyghost Fall'16 by Yuriy Zubarev

Death and Layers by Yuriy Zubarev

Its 419 PM, call time, roughly three hours before Babyghost goes live, again. Call time is an hour late. In other words there are only three hours, roughly, before Babyghost and future fashion, the way it’s supposed to be shown, is up for review; officially. This is going to be a biased piece, then again, aren’t all fashion pieces at least somewhat biased? No, this isn’t going to be future fashion Amish style. There are no unnecessary hats, sorry not sorry bloggers. There are not ill-fitted “tops”. This collection is, gasp, ready to wear.

On the heels of their previous success, the Babyghost duo knows how to design. Please understand I fully intend to mean that other future-fashion designers don’t have a fucking clue, let alone an idea. They also know how to put on a show. Their current presentation is designed by the set designer in charge of the Met Gala. The one that’s 5K per table place at a minimum, opera tickets included of course.

The set design is brilliant. The presentation is a Día de los Muertos inspired atmosphere. There are Mexican prayer candles, holly crosses made of flowers, palm leaves…a welcome sight when there’s a -50 degree wind-chill on the street. The two bars, outside of the presentation are a welcome sight too. Don Julio and Kettle One were keeping everyone warm. By all accounts MILK studios has it MADE…with salt and lime.

The presentation setup rolls along. Every so often the hat wearing Joshua Hupper or Qiaoran Huang pop up from behind the backstage curtains to inspect the progress and talk to the photographers. All in anticipation of another success. For now there’s time, not too much, but maybe just enough for what there should be time for. There’s plenty of time for an interview or two. There’s plenty of time for a photo…for now. There’s plenty of time to not stress. There’s plenty of time until there isn’t.

Until then, there’s still time. The rehearsal has started. First looks are up. Time to walk the thirty or so feet of display space between the crosses and the candles. Time to make sure the hips don’t bounce and the light is perfect. Time to inspect everything. Qiaoran watches, standing strong and silent, she inspects each look. The models line up, one by one, are approved, and move forward towards the presentation stage and runway. One by one they walk to and fro, back and forth, stomp after stomp. They are, each one, lit, photographed, coached and then sent to wait. The models are just as important as the clothes. There is an aesthetic, a “look”, an attitude they must possess and maintain. They wear it with pride, eyes smiling behind the lashes and mascara. Their hours of preparation, go-see’s, workouts, will be rewarded in just a few short minutes. The makeup artists pack and leave. The back stage area is closed off, curtains are pulled down, only the final product and its creators remain, and we become the perverse voyeurs in the background, there to take in only what we are meant to.

Doors open and the outside floods in. Amidst the commotion only the stage remains stoic and silent, presenting each model and look. The frenzy is almost addicting. The next hour is just as important as the first stitch. Josh and Qiaoran observe the crowd as they respond to questions and comments. This is a successful presentation. Already drawing the largest crowd in the largest room of the venue, it isn’t difficult to discern that Babyghost is a favorite. The elements that have made Babyghost a success in the past are as present as ever. Tying in their previous theme with a bolder approach the duo has crafted what some would deem almost illusive during the current fashion week, they’ve expanded on their idea without losing their unique approach. The duo has rejected trends and has stayed true to their original concept. The clothes are comfortable, recycled, realistic, and make a statement. The pieces are modular, they are rock and roll the way it was before David Geffen. To say that the collection was tough, in the complete “tough as nails” sense of the word tough, is to take away from the overall aesthetic of the presentation. The perceived toughness of the collection, achieved through layering as though each piece was a soft, knitted, wall between the vulnerable soul of the individual and the outside world, was underlined by exactly that, the softness and airiness of each model wearing the meticulously layered clothing. The toughness of the collection is only a small part. After all what toughness can there be against that end which “taketh” all? The collection and the set must be taken as a whole and for what they are; the self, expressed through finite knits and threads.

As the presentation closes, and what was in is now outside, the obvious remains the same. There can be no escape from the inevitable, just as there can be no doubt that Babyghost was a success.

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