“Instead of a runway show we are throwing a concert. Instead of using musicians for their celebrity — we are seeking a core musicality that is shared and human,” read Telfar Clemens’ show notes for his show, titled “Music.” In combination with his all-inclusive, unisex clothing for which he has always been known, Clemens linked fashion and music even closer together through a soulful performance composed by Dev Hynes featuring a rendition of “Grateful” by Hezekiah Walker adapted by Ian Isiah.
The designer brought in “a lot of people from the Internet, past collaborators we didn’t know that sang” and friends of the brand, including Kelela, Bryndon Cook, 070 Shake, Arsun Sorrenti, Kelsey Lu, Adonis Bosso, Alton Mason, Walter Pearce and Oyinda for the performance.
The show started with Hynes on the keys, clad in a black leather jacket with detachable sleeves, pants and cap, with Cook on the mic in red leather pants and a black silk top with ripped elbows and armpits. One by one, the musicians sang solos, always ending in, “It’s Telfar,” while making their way to the stage to join the growing group sing the chorus. As the performance grew, so did Clemens’ variety of his deconstructed and reworked fashions. Combo garments like denim leather chaps trousers, halter sweaters worn around the shoulder rather than the neck and leg warmers combined with jeans, to name a few, in a palette of red, black, indigo and white.
This season also marked the brand’s first commercial debut, which will be sold where Clemens proclaims is the “final resting place for all fashion,” and also the location of the brand’s after party, Century 21. The Dey Street location will exclusively hold the full collection — an experiment in itself on consumers for their production teams and buyers — Feb. 12 to 14.
Post-show, Clemens best described his emotion, which everyone in the crowd also felt: “elated.”