Models Were Ballers At Assembly New York + Raquel Allegra [NYFW]
Ball is life. But also, ball is fashion. So it is with Amar’e Stoudemire, and so it was today at the joint Raquel Allegra/Assembly New York presentation. Although “presentation” is a bit of a misnomer—the show took place in the form of a basketball game, and players from Downtown Girls Basketball and Dace’s Basketball Dream were the models. It was an ideal show for the last day of Fashion Week; something different, something quirky (kill me, but that’s accurate), something that thrilled the whole crowd. At one point, an older man in a suit exclaimed, “What a clever idea!” It really was.
One team wore Assembly, a collection that directly related to sports, including a shoe collaboration with Converse. As the program read, “The checkered flag at the end of the race lets you know you’ve made it, racing stripes down the the side of your car can make it fast, fluorescent colors encourage us to be alert.” The clothes were a perfect version of athleisure, and they really could work for a game; camisole tops were worn over logo’d t-shirts, with comfy pleated gauchos aplenty. Our favorite look was a starched white collared shirt with armholes below the sleeves, the kind of wearable twist the brand is known for. Assembly New York has been around for a while, and designer Greg Armas really knows what he’s doing; the collection was a great reflection of his Lower East Side customer, many of whom were in attendance today—Know-Wave’s Mordechai Rubinstein, aka photographer Mister Mort, mc’d the game, with the according crowd.
Allegra’s collection was flowier, girlier, yet it looked equally comfortable. She played with fresh silhouettes: palazzo pants, robes, kimonos. Her bright, hand-painted prints were inspired by the recent adaptation of The Jungle Book, and I especially loved a pair of wide-legged leopard print pants shown with a matching tunic. It was jungle meets what Allegra called “boudoir leisurewear.” Even though her clothes seem delicate, they’re well-constructed and held up during the game—I bought one of Allegra’s shredded tees back when Britney shaved her head, and it’s still in perfect shape.
She was excited about the concept of the show. “These are real women, they’re not all sample size,” she said. “So this was a challenge for me, and a good one, to make it work and play with it. It was like a puzzle, putting the right woman with the right garment. It was a little different, and it was really cool. I’m really happy with the way everything paired up. I think the women really like each thing that they’re wearing. We really wanted them to feel like themselves, but a little more dressed up.”
Allegra’s collection featured vintage silks and hand-painting, materials and processes that make clothing precious. I asked her if she was worried about the samples. She laughed. “We’re just gonna wash it all, and it’ll be fine!” I asked if she recommended that girls wear her clothing to play basketball, and she responded, “Oh, hell yeah!”
Both of the collections were filled with clothes I want to wear right now. But as nice as they were, and however entertaining the game was, the real stars were the cheerleaders. The Brooklyn Titans, award-winning junior high students from Bed-Stuy, came to cheer on the game. “Go models, go models!” they chanted. But for real, go Brooklyn Titans.
Photos taken exclusively for Milk by Maya Fuhr.
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