DESIGNER DISASSEMBLAGE: The unlikely consortium of the Boston-based company ’47, Pratt Institute, Rochambeau designers Joshua Cooper and Laurence Chandler and musician-model Aluna Francis who will be joining forces on April 27 at National Sawdust.
The fashion show in Brooklyn will be the cap-off event for the “’47 Deconstruct/Reconstruct” course, which challenged Pratt students to deconstruct ’47 dead stock to reimagine them. The aspiring designers had their work cut out for them re-creating the ’47 apparel and accessories as their own. Pratt and ’47 staffers decided on five finalists got the nod to present micro-collections later this month. The Rochambeau designers and Francis, who has modeled for Alexander Wang and performs with AlunaGeorge, who will be among the judges.
How Cooper and Chandler wound up working on the Pratt project is a story in itself. A few years, ago during their CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund days, they wanted to work with the Swet Shop Boys’ Riz MC, who is now more widely known as Rizwan Ahmed, the actor behind HBO’s “The Night Of.” While designing looks for the Swet Shop Boys’ upcoming tour, the designers met his bandmate Heems, who works with the production company behind the Pratt event and connected them. (The design duo will also be in the crowd April 12 when Ahmed and his bandmate Heem perform at Webster Hall in Manhattan.)
In an interview today, the designers said it was cool to check out how the Pratt students deconstructed and reconfigured the ’47 items to the degree that the brand’s athletic roots were nowhere to be found. Cooper and Chandler said they plan to discuss another collaboration with ’47 soon.
Rochambeau is also creating a capsule collection with the rapper, artist and performer Yung Jake for the Made LA event slated for June 9 and 10. While the pair were intentionally vague about the specifics, they said the event’s consumer slant sold them on the prospect. Collaboration is not a me-too move by the designers who worked with Nike and Avery Dennison for their collection for the Woolmark Prize, and more recently worked with the musician and visual artist Mark Mothersbaugh (of Devo fame) for their fall collection. They also recruited Rihanna’s favorite designer Adam Selman to walk their runway.
The Rhode Island School of Design is also getting ready for a multidisciplinary attraction. President Rosanne Somerson will host a “Theoretically Speaking” conversation with Off-White’s Virgil Abloh on May 2 about contemporary design theory and its relation to current culture across mediums. The two first connected as part of the “Youth Culture and the Next Era in Design” panel at Design Miami.