I’ve attended a few RVA Fashion Weeks over the years, but this one felt distinct. One might assume that since this is the furthest we’ve been from the pandemic, that it was the proximity and intimacy. But the difference wasn’t pandemic-related. It was the clothing itself.
This year, more than any other, I noticed stark differences between the designers and the moods. Whereas in previous years designers each had their own styles, there was a somewhat blended feel. But 2022 saw standout stars, strong moods, and risk-takers, all making for an intriguing finale at the fashion show Sunday night.
Ryan Azia tapped into our collective ennui with all-black ensembles. In fashion, head-to-toe black is often considered a safe choice, but not with Azia’s line The Aziancy. The post-punk collection dripped with silver chains, dangling from rows of safety pins. Ripped-up trenches featuring the words “It’s Been Done Before” on the back in bold white paint.
The line 707 made some solid pieces for menswear – practical in design but pushing the envelope ever so slightly with unexpected textiles, and just-daring-enough color.
Keziah Amaree was able to combine sumptuous tailoring and joyful colors. Even the most conservative dressers could not resist her extreme ruching and asymmetrical designs, because they are works of art.
Paige the Artist and BlueCatHouse joined forces to create a playful line inspired by Prince. There was purple, there was lace, and there were assless purple pants.
My absolute favorite line was The Linzel, with sumptuous fabrics, architectural tailoring, and pops of color that could lift you out of any mood. Even the monochrome ensembles, made popular during the rise of athleisurewear, felt fresh. The Linzel was a joyful reminder that luxury can be playful.
Every year as fashion week winds down, I’m proud of the big-city heart of our mid-sized city. Richmond’s creative energy stretches beyond VCU’s renowned art school and chic dining options. We are cementing our spot in the fashion world, and it’s never felt more prevalent than it does right now.