To the naked eye, the I Love Pretty runway show at New York Fashion week went off without a hitch. Synth pop from the '80s blared as a cast of models trotted down the runway in bondage-inspired get-ups. Bloggers—and in one instance, a blogger’s assistant—selfied from their seats. Nothing looked out of the ordinary. But the designer, Xiaojuan Yang, almost didn’t make it to her own party.
As reported last month by The New York Post, Yang and her staff went to the American consulate in Guangzhou, China, to apply for a B1 visa for entrance to the United States. They were rejected. The I Love Pretty team guessed, but could not confirm, that Donald Trump’s tariff war with the country could be the reason for their headache.
Meng Ji, a PR consultant for I Love Pretty and Yang’s interpreter, told The Daily Beast that the team managed to wrangle a new interview at a different consulate, giving the designer “a second chance to explain her case.” She was finally granted a visa, and Ji surmised that the press attention from The New York Post and other outlets helped put pressure on the State Department.
Speaking backstage at her show on September 6, Yang told The Daily Beast she was “devastated” when she heard she might not make her label’s first presentation in New York. “I am so in love with America and New York, but it crashed, burned down, everything,” Yang said through Ji’s translation. “I have been all over the world, and I still was rejected.”
But a few minutes before her show began, as Billy Idol’s “Dancing With Myself” warmed up the crowd, Yang felt no hard feelings. She wore a camel blazer over a translucent white button-up with a garter on her leg and a syringe pin at her lapel.
Bedazzled needles were a recurring, if strange, motif in her collection, with one model carrying an oversized one as a clutch. For each guest there was one of the most unusual NYFW free gifts ever: headphones in the guise of a stethoscope.
“I feel more appreciative now that I got a visa for this show and it’s finally happening,” Yang said. “Right now, my brand is growing so fast, and there are so many things happening.”
Once models did start to walk, the clothing was joyous, if somewhat predictable. Yang favored a palette of bubblegum pink, which felt very calming and appropriate for an early-morning show, though the color has been used to death by now.
There was plenty of mesh, latex, and see-through fabrics paired with more demure trouser pants, like what a dominatrix would wear home to ask their parents if they could borrow some money.
One blush, mock-neck blouse with flouncy sleeves came blazed with the words, “Don’t Look at Me Like That” over the chest, with two pasties covering the model’s nipples. Each look required some chutzpah to pull off, though Yang hoped to call attention to more than just fleshy dressing.
“Right now in all of the metropolitan cities, there are a lot of women who are very lonely,” she said. “Depression is a serious issue that a lot of people ignore, and I wanted to bring the focus of the audience to this particular topic. Behind every successful woman’s career, there is always a different story.”
The dapperQ queer fashion event kicked off New York Fashion Week at Brooklyn Museum on Thursday night. A celebration of diversity, the show was a beacon of inclusivity in both fashion and life.
Undergarments by TomBoy subverted idealized standards of beauty; glistening bedazzled bodies walked and used wheelchairs down the catwalk.
Designer Claire Fleury channeled Andy Warhol and Pierre Cardin with fabulously outrageous ensembles: a spectacle of both color and reimagined silhouettes.
The '60s were alive and well in designer Andre Landeros Michel's dark, romantic and sparkly collection, which was accented by a silver lamé suit worn by a model with a perfectly coiffed afro.
Blurring the lines between genders, cultures and fantasy, Devonation provided comparatively subtle yet edgy garments.
An all-in-one garment by Cilium was the single piece that provided multiple ensembles for a range of body types.