Photography: Ben Grad
For SAGA NYC‘s spring ’17 presentation, Designer Sandra Gagalo created a modern day Alice in Wonderland journey through cyberspace. Titled Alyx in Wonderland, the performance followed Alyx through the digital realm as she learned to understand her true identity. Inspired by identity politics in the digital age, Gagalo wanted her presentation to do more than just showcase a collection—by posing questions about youth culture in the online space and challenging gender identity, Alyx in Wonderland politicized fashion week, providing a refreshing dose of social consciousness in an oft-shallow environment.
With a strict no cell phone policy, the presentation forced the audience to disconnect, re-asserting, while also subverting, the indelible role technology plays in the current cultural climate. Harnessing the theatricality of fashion from the ’80s and ’90s, with Alyx in Wonderland, Gagalo curated her own fantasy world—think dystopian romanticism meets Alexander McQueen.
The collection itself, “Phonies,” was an ethereal mix of Tumblr fashion with a classic punk finish. PVC and raw hems in whimsical silhouettes, juxtaposed with lace and frills, made for a strong mix of hard and soft—innocence and innocence lost. Short shorts, crop tops, flowing dresses—Gagalo discarded gender and any innocuous fashion week rules by mixing streetwear with evening, and ultimately throwing away the traditional fashion show altogether.
In the spirit of Alice Through The Looking Glass, Gagalo’s clothes were a tangible representation of the falseness in digital identity—dramatic ways in which people can dress up their lives, and the ability to see through it. “Who in the world am I?” writes Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland, “That’s the great puzzle.” For SAGA NYC, Alyx in the Wonderland was also a puzzle, piecing together the relationship between social media, status and self.
Check out behind-the-scenes photos, above, and watch an exclusive video of Alyx in Wonderland, below.