PHOTOS BY TAYLORE SCARABELLI
TEXT BY WHITNEY MALLETT
The show had that breakthrough energy, swollen with possibility. Humidity hung heavy in the air, and after, it seemed like we would never find a cab. We had to walk to Christopher Street and Promise’s shoe broke on the way. Finally we got uptown to the White Castle on 8th Avenue and 36th Street. I found myself holding hands with girls I hardly knew to bum rush the door. Later inside, Jaimie, the White Castle Vice President, wearing his hamburger tie told me, “Telfar is a special person. He really brings people together.” Then he showed me a poem he wrote on a hamburger box.
It was hot and sweaty. The panel lights in the ceiling were glowing blue. It felt good to stand up on the tables like the air was fresher up there. There were DJs upstairs and downstairs. Early on in the night, the door to the basement was briefly locked. “We were trapped down there for a while,” someone said. I think it was Analisa. By then, I think I’d already taken my shirt off, and re-fashioned into some sort of bib to cover my breasts, but it wouldn’t have even mattered. People were topless. Downstairs in the dark bodies were shimmering with sweat.
Back upstairs, one model lit up a joint and said open your mouth. He poured smoke in my mouth and told me he was walking Gypsy Sport on Sunday. “Are you going to come?” Who knows what I said. I called people all the wrong names. There were trays and trays of cheese sliders and mozzarella sticks and chicken rings. I went to the bathroom without any shoes on. I started talking to another model. I couldn’t help staring at those lips and asking, “How old are you?” I kissed him anyways.
During the ten years that Telfar Clemens has been designing his eponymous line, he’s shown a rare ability to enter into a dialogue with late-capitalist consumption without falling victim to a cynical trendiness that plagues so many others. Talking to Dazed at the party, he described his SS17 collection full of rugby stripes and backless polos as “reverse consumerism,” taking inspiration from Martha Stewart and Abercrombie and Fitch preppiness and confusing it. In many ways, Telfar’s designs with their androgynous twist on functional sportswear feel made for a world we don’t quite live in yet but one that he helps us better imagine. And by recontextualizing a fast food restaurant as the stage for a celebration, just like in his fashions, Telfar advertised a latent potentiality, promising us something else is coming.
© 2019 The Editorial Magazine