Telfar Clemens continues to challenge exactly what fashion is and what it can be. The 2017 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund winner is cited as a leading force in the industry, specifically for his label’s concerted effort to make unisex clothing and disrupt the idea of sexuality norms when it comes to self-expression. The win for the Liberian-American designer and the Telfar brand was nothing short of inspiring, predominately for the fact that they seemingly stand for everything many think fashion is not.
In anticipation for the collection, many wanted to know–if one can even do so–what Telfar had up their sleeve. Back in January, Clemens told i-D that fashion week would be used, “to start to define something that can break free from it and be suited specifically to our vision.” Additionally, how utilizing musicians and artists in a “truly creative to to start figuring out a different cultural platform,” would push the brand and its messaging. A huge feat, but nothing unconquerable for a brand whose pushed what diversity means, more than just adding a few extra models of color or plus-size models to a show.
For Telfar’s Fall 2018 collection, they continued to push boundaries by breaking rules of presentation. In lieu of the standard fashion runway frame of models walking down a runway, the brand called on musical artists Dev Hynes, Ian Isiah, Bryndon Cook, Selah Marley, Kelela, Kelsey Lu, Angel and the LeFrak Vocal Choir to simultaneously perform and wear the collection. Not only did audience members get a musical performance, they also got to see the functionality of the clothes in real time.
The collection played on unisexism, ambiguously framed with denim and leather cuttings. Interestingly enough, the brand’s collection was simply an assortment of scarlets, blacks, and whites, three colors that have no societal gender stigmas attached. Pants with a color split right down the middle were spotted, as were loose-fitting denim flares and varied cuts of long-sleeve silk blouses, crop tops and jackets.