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Location: New York Fashion Week
Key Pieces: Burnt-orange coordinate sets, striped logo knitwear, relaxed pinstriped suits, and dark purple “COUNTRY” logo hoodies.
Editor’s Notes: I remember going to shows in my teens and late 20s, it was the heyday of emo, hardcore, and indie music. You wore beater sneakers because your footwear was going to get beer spilled on it and the floors of these venues were so sticky every footstep you made was audible.
Designer Telfar Clemens built on this vibe for his Fall/Winter 2019 collection, taking over Irving Place and turning in into “Telfar Country,” the theme for his latest fashion show. Indeed, there were huddled masses present, each yearning for a closer look at the clothes amidst the chaotic ambience. Playwright Jeremy O. Harris stepped out and delivered a monologue about the ideals of Telfar Country, laying down a manifesto for its denizens.
Models walked the short stage and gave themselves to the audience, crowdsurfing instead of doing a full walk, softly vanishing into the crush of people below. The clothes continue the codes Clemens is known for, one-shoulder shirts, flared trousers, logoed knitwear, and plenty of denim. It strikes a tone between alternative cultures and the modern youth uniform of today.
Clemens has made the ubiquitous high-low dichotomy a signature, and it runs rampant in Telfar Country. After all, he staged a previous fashion show at the fast-food joint White Castle, who graciously offered guests complimentary chicken rings and mini-burgers made with vegan Impossible buns. As Ho99o9 took the stage after the finale, the venue became a mosh pit, bodies crashing into each other to the tune of the band’s punk stylings. It was here that I realized I’m probably a bit too old to be going to shows, and promptly exited into the night.