How #BlackLivesMatter Inspired This Show at NYFW

Yeezy Season 4 runway.
Collina Strada cast only models of colour for SS17.

One of the most interesting intersections of fashion and advocacy in 2016 came this summer during New York Fashion Week: Men's, when blogger Hannah Stoudemire held a sit-in objecting to the fashion industry's silence in response to #BlackLivesMatter.  In the weeks that followed, a handful of designers responded to her call for visibility and participation; most noteably, 
Maxwell Osborne of Public School and DKNY, who penned a moving open letter calling fashion industry leaders to "stand with Black Lives Matter."  

Fast forward to September, and we're in the thick of womenswear shows.  While catwalk diversity has come along way, it has still had its fair share of hurdles, especially with the controversy embedded in the Yeezy Season 4 casting call.  Tired of the homogenous, non-inclusive nature of casting, Collina Strada designer Hillary Taymour took matters into her own hands this season, with a presentation that called attention to diversity in more ways than one.

"I was tired of just seeing that token black girl," she told us at Pier59 Studios this Saturday.  "I wanted to show that you could do a show using entirely models of colour.  It's our duty to acknowledge this at a time when Americans are taking to the streets to remind us that Black Lives Matter. We need to amplify those voices and use our collective influence to push for change."

While the casting made a powerful impact, there's no doubt that the clothes carried a socially conscious message in their own right.  In the show notes, the brand explains:

 "When the fashion world makes references to classic, timeless and aristocratic, it's often shorthand for European. But, if we are really talking about humanity, the most classic, timeless aesthetics and cultures are African."   

Showing a medley of loose, cotton shapes with trains and undone hemlines, the clothes conjured up an ageless sense of comfort and function, using colours like evergreen and purple to create richness.  Oh, and bejewelled Crocs that read "Call Mom."  Yeah, they went there.  


Imagery c/o Collina Strada

Read more: Speaking of collections, have you seen the MTV collaboration that Marc Jacobs just dropped?  We also made a guide to our favourite emerging brands from Scandinavia.

Tia Elisabeth Glista is the founding Editor in Chief of Couturesque Magazine.  She is also a textbook Taurus (ambitious, aesthetically-driven, very stubborn) who can at any given time be found listening to BANKS and looking at pictures of puppies.  Click here to follow her on Instagram. 

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I founded Couturesque Magazine when I was 15 years old because like many of my peers, I felt ignored and talked down to by all of the other teen fashion publications out there. I figured that at the end of the day, the people who knew the most about my generation, were the people who belonged to it. The fashion industry is becoming increasingly dependent on the creativity of younger voices who challenge the status quo and make us rethink what we wear and why we wear it. And that is exactly what Couturesque set out to celebrate - authenticity, intelligence, originality, and diversity... in other words, what makes Gen-Z tick. Fast-forward to 2016 and we now have a staff of more than a dozen fashion distruptors contributing to our daily content from all around the globe, 100K+ readers following us from Toronto to New York, to London, Copenhagen, Berlin, Tokyo, and Tel Aviv, and a plethora of big-wig industry fans and collaborators. But what matters to us the most is the responsibility that our publication has to make a positive impact in the lives of those who come across it - we stand against retouching our photoshoots and we stand for sharing the beautiful, individual, complex voices of everyone, especially those who feel marginalized by mainstream fashion media. We hope that you love our site as much as we do and that you take the time to follow us (Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest / Tumblr / Snapchat / YouTube) throughout our journey to make fashion accessible to the powerful young adults of today.

Tia Elisabeth Glista
Editor in Chief