Willy Chavarria’s fall 2023 collection further cemented his status as one of New York’s leading men’s designers, and showed what’s to come.
Held at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum — which awarded Chavarria with the National Design Award for fashion this fall — Chavarria hosted an intimate runway show (with a front row that included Julia Fox, J Balvin and Becky G to name a few) that debuted his first foray into eveningwear. Titled “Kangaroo,” the collection struck a balance between the serious and elegant by “walking the line of where the darkness meets light,” according to the show notes.
“This is actually my most elevated collection in that it has the most tailoring and very nice, luxury fabrics,” Chavarria said during rehearsal. “There’s a lot of really fine, cashmere wool. There’s a lot of really beautiful silk. The collection itself is about love, protection and boldness as we go into the future, which is a rocky road ahead as we can all see. So, this will be my most serious collection. It’s all about the silhouette, the structure of the tailoring and the people who are wearing the garments.”
The all-black collection focused on tailoring infused with Chavarria’s signature flair. The pieces were structured, such as an array of tuxedo and suit jackets, but were elevated with design details like ruffles, puff sleeves and small pops of gardenia white.
Key pieces included tailored silhouettes in multiple fabrications, such as chiffon, silk, or recycled materials made in collaboration with fabric mill Recyctex.
Chavarria’s collection referenced European couturiers — possibly hinting at the designer’s next, highly anticipated step in his career — but was uniquely his own design DNA.
“There’s a give and take between American fashion and European fashion,” he explained. “That’s why it’s [the museum] a bit of a couture setting. We’ll see notes of old Dior and some old YSL mixed in there, but it’s still really grounded in the heritage of Willy Chavarria.”