Photography: Lane Lang
Considering the current cultural climate, there was no doubt Fashion Week was going to be political. And then there was Sanchez-Kane. For her S/S ’18 collection, Barbara Sanchez-Kane dove headfirst into post-colonialism, multi-culturalism, bureaucracy, drug smuggling and emotional shame. Using her own diary entries, the designer touched on masculinity and social construction through literal constrictions of fabric and shape.
“You know how sometimes you’re pushed to be someone by society, by religion, or by your family?” asked the designer, backstage. “At the end, you just want to be someone else. I matched that feeling with smuggling—because smuggling is really just hiding. And sometimes, you hide your feelings because you’re repressed.”
Building on that idea, Sanchez-Kane looked to her Mexican heritage, blending subtle details as an ode to her upbringing.
“This collection is more mature, in a way,” she reflected. “But the starting point will always be Mexico and Mexican culture—Mexican folk tourism, I like to say.”
But even with a powerful political message, that’s not what made the Sanchez-Kane collection so exciting. It was the designer’s ability to use political currency as a filter into her own life and imagination. Even beyond that, her ability to translate those reflections into aesthetic decisions that weren’t just metaphoric, but actually made sense.
As for the actual clothes, Barbara makes unexpected details look surprisingly sane. A water-bottle necklace? Sure. It was those unconventional accessories that brought together the range, and her series of wire hand and body harnesses are the thigh-high boots of next season—everyone’s going to want them. Except, unlike thigh-highs, they’ll still be cool after a Kardashian inevitably wears them. And that’s part of the brand’s undeniable magic. Sanchez-Kane is able to deliver radically subversive—and down right weird—pieces that’ll still be on a ton of It-Girl wish-lists—not to mention ours.
View the collection, above.