Oh, to be a self-contained teen The Smell’s 16 emo plaid, eyeliner and bridge piercing, all in LA DIY venue in the heart of the age group. Gypsy Sport’s Rio Uribe can take you there. The old Amoeba Music building, once the gateway to culture for many Angeleno teenagers, is now an appropriate venue. Projections of the Gypsy Sport logo danced on the walls, and we, the audience, our little feet tapped on and off the infinitely joking live broadcast. The show opens with a laugh from adults who can only vaguely remember the friction of punk youth, genderqueer goths and plaid babes in flattering heels, putting it down.
Rio Uribe is still digging the untold riches revealed by his own Chicano ancestry in his second show in his hometown of Los Angeles. His collection used to be independent. Each was a “new hodgepodge of ideas and experiments,” he said after the show, full of energy and elation. But in the midst of the pandemic and his two most recent series, he feels as if he can focus on one theme and express it in infinite variety.
The show opened with what he called “a very Chicano character”: a man with short hair and a goatee And the face-tattooed model strode down the runway in matching white oversized shorts and a jacket printed with the Gypsy Sport logo. But then the box pops open, and the definition of Chicanismo diverges again and again.
Pachuco’s zoo suit comes in a languid, cool red, also in peeling, Deconstructed, cropped and miniskirts. Then there are low-rise cargo shorts and a studded belt with BMX boy energy. Sporty mesh dresses are tied on many different bodies. Models wore studs on their noses and wore gothic platform boots with countless buckles. Chicano’s classic two-tone Charlie Brown print is made entirely of sequins and fits snugly against the butt. “The more I explore my neighborhood,” Uribe said, “the more I realize…we do gothic stuff. We love emo. We love rock en español. We love disco. So I really Want to break any stereotypes you might have about Chicanos.”
Uribe recalls clubs that opened his eyes to fashion and identity. “There’s a place called the Arena,” he said, “and we used to go there a lot when we were kids because . . . you can sneak in
Although every look is full of youthful energy, these works are all from a long-developed eye. A striking pair of extremely grown-up cream pleated trousers got a full dress from a plaid top, with the sleeves ripped off. Satin jackets lined with plaid and midi-length plaid skirts polish the emo kid’s clothes bright enough to keep in rotation beyond the teens.
Last year, real-life brides and grooms ordered the all-pink Gypsy Sport look. So Uribe is officially bringing wedding dresses to his runway this season. The punk bride ended the show, black-lipped out and her eyes closed with an almost distrustful look, wearing a sequined logo veil and gown with a puffy skirt fastened along the ropes.
Come next September, Uribemuse, who knows? He may return to New York. He’ll have fun at any fashion week, but have him here in LA with something extra potent that taps into our teenage memories.