Needless to say, we’re in the trenches of dark political uncertainty right now, and with the rights of marginalized people being cast aside and repackaged as governmental policy – New York Fashion Week: Men’s had something to say in protest. While some gestures were more subdued with simply punk aesthetic undertones, or graphic nods to the USA’s viral protest culture, menswear designer Willy Chavarria made his intentions bluntly clear for his FW17 collection.
The New York-based designer is not here for bigotry. His latest offering, titled “Harder,” is a loud, bold call to action. Chavarria believes now is the time to fight and love harder in the face of widespread oppression.
He relays his stern belief with a collection that aestheticizes historical political movements led by marginalized people, including the Black Power movement, the transgender movement, and the Chicano movement. Iconic aesthetic cursors from these respective movements are reinterpreted using exaggerated silhouettes and new fits.
Despite Chavarria’s hard line position, his FW17 collection uses some of the softest materials out there, such as baby alpaca wool. Standout looks include a black fur bomber jacket paired with a graphic track ensemble, and wide-leg, leather culottes that pack a serious punch on this season’s blueprint for looser menswear silhouettes.
The contrast between Chavarria’s “hard” message and the soft, sumptuous execution of his collection signals that the beauty and beliefs of these bygone movements are increasingly fragile in today’s bleak, political climate and now is the time to fight harder than ever before.
For more fashion activism, find out whether political streetwear is rediscovering its roots?