Designer Willie Norris presented his fall 2019 collection at the intimate and iconic La Mama Galleria in the East Village, where artists such as Bette Midler, Harvey Keitel, Diane Lane, Harvey Fierstein, the Blue Man Group and David Bowie have performed or taken in a show.
Though the setting was intimate, the audience was rambunctious, cheering for the all-queer cast of models and friends like Coco Romack, West Dakota and Charlene Incarnate, who hosted the show, and Aaron Philip, Michael Love, Jess Miller, Blaire Augustus and Cherry Jaymes, who made their runway debuts. Norris cast the models before the collection was done, because he wanted to adapt the clothing to each individual.
“I cast most of the models before the looks were made,” said Norris. “I knew exactly who I wanted in the show and the clothes needed to adapt to the models, not the other way around.”
“Collection One” consisted of 15 workwear-inspired looks, including a range of jeans, denim jackets and jumpsuits, and graphic T-shirts and tank tops all crafted from deadstock fabric and repurposed clothing. In addition, leather pieces and accessories were made from reclaimed boots and a Manolo Blahnik stiletto.
Norris, who is currently the design director of Outlier, launched Willie Norris Workshop with the mission to promote a pro-queer streetwear aesthetic. The designer launched a Kickstarter campaign called #PROMOTEHOMOSEXUALITY to fund his debut runway show.