Photography: Lane Lang
For a cool kid hype brand like LRS, Fashion Week is like the Super Bowl for fashion world rebels and people who pretend not to give a fuck. Walking to the roof of the Copacabana, it’s a who’s who of Vetememes and Off-White, kids in studded jackets hoping no one asks their favorite Redd Kross track. A lot of Fashion Week events read like this, but LRS is the show to be seen, so fashion punks come out in droves. And it’s no wonder — LRS and designer, Raul Solis, are actually as cool as it gets. The New York brand brings wearability and subversiveness, without ever compromising Solis’ vision. The FW ’17 collection was no exception, as the designer joined S&M and ballet to tackle event-dressing and Donald Trump.
Most people don’t think latex when they think about dressing up. But that’s exactly what makes LRS so special—Solis’ mind works to rebel against convention. For him, event-dressing means altered point shoes, red, leather and bondage, and his attention to detail makes even a sweatsuit complex. Though we’ve seen tons of sweatshirts and S&M on runways the last few seasons, there’s something different about Solis’ approach—LRS is self-aware enough to play the game, but too cool to get caught up in it. The same goes for the brand’s politics.
We’ve watched the industry trip over itself, trying to appear diverse, radical and progressive. But most of the time, when designers get political, it feels forced. So most avoid it altogether. Solis, on the other hand, uses his voice, and does so effortlessly. Towards the end of the presentation, as the audience zoomed in on a black leather dress, a model turned the corner to expose “No Ban, No Wall,” written on her ass. While most designers kept their collections apolitical, Solis’ commentary was aggressive yet playful, a wink and a punch, like the collection itself.
But aside from being the kind of push fashion desperately needs, Solis is an expert in opposition. The collection paired pleated skirts with moto jackets, glitter with bondage — each design was a fusion of class and kink, elegant yet exciting. As a designer, Solis succeeded in delivering a collection that felt both fresh and fearless. As an artist, he did something far more challenging, by creating clothes that didn’t have to scream to speak for themselves.
View behind-the-scenes images from the LRS FW ’17 presentation, above.