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Wat U Iz

Pyer Moss Fall 2021 Couture

After having had to reschedule the show due to stormy weather, Pyer Moss has had its fair share of emotionally loaded anticipation for its first couture collection. But it was well worth the wait, as two days later a typewriter, fridge and telephone casually walked around the vivid blue venue, resulting in a larger-than-life buffet for our eyes. Peanut butter jars, traffic lights and ice cream cones are not the first things that come to our minds when we think of traditional Parisian couture, but it were exactly these everyday essentials that Pyer Moss’ couture debut revolved around. As the first Black designer to be invited to Paris Haute Couture Week, Pyer Moss’ creative director Kerby-Jean Raymond consciously chose not to accustom his designs to our usual silk feathered head garments, dazzling diamond necklaces or pearled tweed jackets.

Instead, it seems as if the creative director has purposely invented a new genre in fashion: Cartoon Couture. Pouring a big can of Pop Art paint over this Fall 2021 couture collection, Pyer Moss has been ripping apart any (un)written rules on what the culture behind couture does, and doesn’t symbolise. Kerby-Jean Raymond is the kind of designer that channels art through fashion, and through simultaneously sharing stories of Black history, he makes us see the ways in which these have been subtly erased from our subconscious. Little did we know that the concept allegedly came to the creative director in the middle of an ayahuasca session, as he had just been on a meeting about the show that same morning!

Everything was made by hand, from the white double-breasted jacket and lilac dress with dripping crystals, to the silky bathrobe covered in hair curlers. Pyer Moss’ Fall 2021 collection is not about thousand-euro suits and shoes, as we already have plenty of those, but rather a tribute to the twenty-five remarkable Black inventors of the mundane objects we all so dearly depend on in our daily lives. Wat U Iz, in the end,┬áconsciously rewrites established french fashion with a satirical sense of humor and a history lesson in Black ingenuity, resulting in a monumental moment in Black history itself.

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Words by Brechtje Polman