Flying Solo exhibition features 25 designers challenging social norms

Flying Solo’s Spring/Summer 2023 collaborative collection confronts conventional representations of culture and gender to create social impact.

The crowd that gathered around Flying Solo’s neon-lit New York Fashion Week show wore clothes as varied as the first collections. The 25 designers featured on the catwalk showcased unique and boundary-pushing designs, while the runway show collectively underscored each brand’s ethos of artful, social impact fashion design.

Flying Solo, an organized fashion collective that brings together creatives from around the world, has established a philosophy of artistic and socially impactful fashion design. The show track was intended to be a site of collaboration and discourse by prioritizing awareness of a changing global environmental landscape.

(Shirley Xumeng Zhang for WSN)

Based in London and Mumbai, Maison Audi seeks to unpack the long-standing impacts of the Western gender binary on fashion. The collection, titled “Audmi” – a combination of the Hindi words “aurat”, meaning woman, and “aadmi”, meaning man – featured men dressed in elegant skirts paired with jeweled celestial masks, removing the influence of gender binary and instead focusing on the drawings themselves.

Model walking down the aisle in a green two-piece pantsuit with an emerald and gold mask.
(Shirley Xumeng Zhang for WSN)
A woman poses in the aisle of the catwalk wearing a purple top and a skirt with black heels;  A woman poses wearing an indigo square top and matching bottom.
(Shirley Xumeng Zhang for WSN)

The Tayground brand brought electric color to the catwalk and a real sense of fun. The Tayground uniform – an angular, futuristic latex drapery paired with a matching skirt – came in brilliant tones of electric blue and pink, fusing a futuristic design with what appears to be a color trend of the spring and summer season. lively and bold.

Woman Walks Down The Aisle In A Salmon Dress With A Black Belt And Boots;  A woman poses on the catwalk with a fuschia dress and bare feet.
(Shirley Xumeng Zhang for WSN)

In keeping with Flying Solo’s commitment to variety, several handbag and jewelry designers have collaborated with clothing designers to accessorize their looks, launching their own collections. Designer Georgina Herrera, whose collection featured basic dresses in neutral and solid colors complemented by decadent body jewelry and metallic shawls, said the role of jewelry in design should never be underestimated.

A woman clutches a handbag while wearing a pink shirt, black skirt and sunglasses;  A woman holds a brown bejeweled bag while wearing flowing white pants.
(Shirley Xumeng Zhang for WSN)

“Jewelry should be the main piece of your wardrobe,” she said. “Jewelry is a great way to be bold.”

The theme of culturally conscious design has taken an unfortunate plateau with the JUNIOR BLVD collection. This brand of children’s clothing displayed an interesting and colorful line, but which lacked art. His young role models may have done more to appeal to the public than the designs.

While all the artists presented collections worthy of respect, the combined efforts and visions of many designers reinforced the message of each design. INGJIN SAN exhibited beautiful dresses with cultural embroidery and fabrics with printed messages. The First Look proclaimed the message ‘fashion is inherently political’ as it called for an end to the ongoing genocide in Burma.

By creating a space for independent designers based around the world and looks that challenge societal norms, Flying Solo is committed to fusing multiple cultural influences to make fashion as meaningful as it is beautiful.

Correction, September 15: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated where Audi was founded. The article has been updated to reflect the correction and WSN regrets the error.

Contact Payton Selby at [email protected]

About Marjorie C. Hudson

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