[IRVINGTON, NY.] Practice makes perfect after the first attempt for presenting the Pyer Moss Couture collection was postponed on Thursday due to inclement weather tied to a tropical storm that was occurring further south in the US. During the rainfall the creative director Kerby Jean-Raymond took to instagram to announce the show would move to Saturday with even a better idea. The show was presented on location at Madam C.J. Walker Estate an hour outside of NYC, at Villa Lewaro, the home of the first African-American self-made millionaire in Irvington, New York.
The title of the show “WAT U IZ” denotes to the Black community on how African-American Vernacular English is different and not quick to understand, yet, for ebonics it’s a reminder of who you are and what we do for the betterment of the culture. To begin the show, Elaine Brown from Oakland, California who represented the Black Panther Party back in the 70’s, gave a speech that bolstered the theme of the collection that Black inventors have changed the world we know today. Each look shown gave the audience a reminder of and also reintroduced a bit of Black History that hadn’t been taught or wasn’t common knowledge.
To usher in the cat-walking vibes Brooklyn rapper 22Gz started the show performing “Fallen Blixkys” in an all white suit paired with a never before seen entirely white Pyer Moss Sculpt sneaker. The models walked from the front doors of Madam Walker’s estate onto an all blue runway platform that had to be rebuilt after the storm from Thursday ruined it. The collection started with a recognisable piece that resembled a bottle-cap, then a look with green drapes hanging from a curtain rod revealing just the face. As the show continued there were mixed emotions because the label presented a concept that was outside of their ready-to-wear approach. In a sense that it was presented as couture with a little bit of black magic creating a new subcategory for couturiers. Which is proper to create being that in all of the 150+ years the French Federation of Fashion’s calendar has never seen a black designer showcase, until now.
Every garment on the runway was inspired by a list from the Black Inventors Museum. The most dazzling number from the presentation was the blush dress that had a massive lampshade-like hat with multiple strings of crystals dangling from the edge of the hat down to the knees as a salute towards Latimer and Nichols patent for the electric lamp. Look number 12 was the one that blurred the lines between couture and ready-to-wear because it seemed campy but also wearable. It consisted of a cream blazer with a black belted-waist that resembled typewriter keys that had cream fabrics sporadically covering below the waist were noticeable meant to be paper with written memos. A highlight for the genius duo Burridge and Marshman that also invented the cash register.
To close the show out Jean-Raymond brought out his team to give their final bow for their first couture moment and the Estate of Madam C.J. Walker will host the exhibit for Pyer Moss Couture 1 on location later this year.