Gypsy Sport’s spring show signaled a shift in design philosophy for Rio Uribe. He’s still offering up a wildly do-it-yourself approach to streetwear that challenges normative ideas of what’s sexy and appropriate, but moving forward, he’ll be doing so with a hallmark of sustainability, switching from mass production into artisanal.
Backstage after the show, Uribe explained the move: “[This] collection was 95 percent sustainable materials or repurposed materials and what I wanted people to take away was really appreciating fashion, but also being able to step out of that and appreciating the world around us.”
The show began with a moment of silence led by Domonique Echeverria, Uribe’s friend and healer: first, for 9/11; second, for Mother Nature and to reflect on self-love. “Just for this moment, pretend we are all equal. Just for a moment, allow yourselves to be still, to feel the rhythm in your bodies. Take a moment to pause and breathe.”
It set the tone for the collection’s themes of nature and presence. And denim. Uribe made a statement with street-cast models (including Lourdes Leon, Madonna’s daughter) in iterations of the fabric ranging from tattered and clean, over-the-top and tiny, deconstructed and conceptual. There were dresses made of waistbands, a skirt held together by loose threads, shipwrecked-style torn shirts and jeans, and strips sewn into jackets. Interesting hybrid constructions included skirts hung low to reveal built-in underwear and a tunic fused with netting. Real flowers, leaves, grass, tree parts and seashells topped it all off.
Fluid and ambiguous, charged and provoking, the result was uncompromisingly underground and weird. “It was less about selling shape or silhouette and more about creating a coolness around sustainability,” Uribe noted. “My idea is to have people make their own clothes. If you don’t like what we have, this is an idea of what you can do.”