Vaquera's Witty Show Played Off The Basic Bitch [NYFW]
Ah, the basic bitch. She who loves lattes of pumpkin and spice is widely derided, ranking somewhere below the Untouchables in the Indian Caste system. The idea of the basic who loves brunch and barrel curls is one that would never be associated with Vaquera, the downtown label which has previously repped an aesthetic akin to dirty Elizabethan royalty mixed with Seinfeld’s puffy shirt. So, in a genius twist, Vaquera’s SS17 show, hosted by Red Bull Studios New York, was dedicated to sorority girls, in a collection that designer Bryn Taubensee dubbed, “Greek versus Greek.”
Vaquera’s trio of designers (Taubensee, Patric Dicaprio, and David Moses) are always striving to be new, different, to stand out amongst the young brands that they tend to be grouped in with. “We’re really sick of seeing our designs in Zara and on everyone,” said Dicaprio. “We want to move to the next level. We want to surprise people. We’re excited as fashion designers by fashion that is new, to see something you haven’t seen a thousand times.” And in order to avoid anything that resembles an overblown trend, Taubensee, Dicaprio, and Moses leaned on references that other designers wouldn’t touch: Vera Bradley, Lily Pulitzer. Abercrombie was a clear influence (Dicaprio described the old A&F quarterlies as “completely insane!”). “We had a campaign shoot with [photographer] Ethan James Green, and that was really heavily inspired by those Abercrombie images,” said Moses. “It definitely made its way in, like with the cargo pants.”
Sorority members do eventually finish school, and graduation was a clear theme; a number of looks came complete with graduation caps. No self-respecting Kappa would actually wear any of these clothes, even the toga-like looks—the influence may have been basic, but the garments themselves were anything but, featuring Vaquera’s trademark ruffles and cutouts and voluminous, unorthodox (for the 21st century, at least) silhouettes. We somehow don’t think that the idiosyncratic details, like hanging pot holders, will be ending up at any keggers. But the clothes were, in a way, more commercial than in past seasons, sturdily constructed, more wearable for the average person. The designers are graduating to a new level, and perhaps a more salable one. And so of course, by poking fun at the status quo, they’re pushing back.
It’s In The Details…
Vaquera played with commonly re-appropriated images, like the Superman logo and the Rolling Stones’ iconic tongue. My favorite version utilized that endlessly reprinted picture of Che Guevara, which they used on a baby tee (as in, literally for a baby) casually strewn across a male model’s back. Dicaprio explained that Guevara is like “the boy version of Marilyn Monroe,” an originally transgressive figure whose image has been used so many times that they’ve been rendered meaningless (Monroe was also featured).
There was a rock remix of Lil’ Mama’s ageless classic “Lip Gloss.” It was perfect.
Every hip person within ten miles of Chinatown or Bushwick, as well as actresses/artists/It Girls Hari Nef and India Salvör Menuez. Milk faves Torraine Futurum and Zoë Bleu (one of Moses’ close friends) modeled in the show.
The Look That Gave Us Life…
A white ruffled crop top with a matching skirt that was sliced up all the way to the hips was stunning. The model also wore a graduation cap, signed by friends for authenticity. “We always do a wedding look,” said Moses. “So it was our wedding/graduation look. It’s a fusion!” Another gorgeous crop top/mid-length skirt combo (worn by Bleu) featured mint and white stripes and draping that left one breast exposed.
Adding to Our Shopping List…
Expansive harem-like pants looked so comfortable, and we loved all of the ruffled crop tops. Vaquera also explored swimwear—a Vera Bradley-patterned bikini was paired with a matching tie, perfect for an Avril Lavigne concert on Nantucket.
Photos taken exclusively for Milk by Maya Fuhr.
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