The most unusual thing on the runway this season wasn’t Botter’s water balloon gloves, or JW Anderson’s model in a mirrored sphere as a dress. It’s not even true that Alessandro Michele found 68 twins or identical models walking down the Gucci runway – even though that’s close! But no, it’s the designers of the various collections who seem to have family at heart and show their clothes on pregnant models or otherwise pair them with mom and me (or dad and my) kids.
is not to say that it came out of nowhere. Designer Marine Serre is known for her futuristic visions of utopian and eerie apocalyptic apocalypse (she released Clean Air with her logo at the Paris 2020 fashion show in February mask), showing different versions of the family’s habit on her runway. “For me, a fashion show should give you an experience akin to sitting on a park bench and watching slices of life,” she explained via email. “Family, kids and dogs are a part of everyday life, and I always want to incorporate that sense of relevance into my shows.” Her spring 2023 series creates inspiring stories for the whole family. A matching pink jacquard moon and diamond look. Elena Velez, who just won Emerging Designer of the Year at the CFDA Awards, often uses motherhood as the starting point for her collections. On her fall 2023 show, the final look was a long black translucent dress that stretched from the bust to the teardrop-shaped rip just below the navel; its model had a single On his arms is a baby wrapped in black gathered fabric. Her spring 2023 collection featured her signature bodice detailing, cutouts revealing midriffs and breasts shrouded under buttons and straps. There were no pregnant corpses or babies on the runway (though Julia Fox and her young son were in the audience), but the mother was definitely present. “My series is a chronicle of my experience with female identity in the world,” she said via email this week.
Image: Courtesy of Balenciaga2020
What’s most interesting is that the designers involved in these topics are often very Young, their work exists outside the status quo, with a perspective that explores unconventional aesthetics more explicitly. These designers should be seen as embracing “traditional family values,” the last thing they want, but that’s why they’re exploring. Few things are historically cool like mom or dad, if this generation has recycled and redefined the concept of good and bad taste, making dad sneakers and mom jeans cool, why not consider the concept of motherhood itself ?
“At the risk of sounding ‘conservative’ or ‘traditional’, I feel that today’s society has turned motherhood and the focus on family into something unpopular and unambitious Default, because your plan A failed,” Velez told me. “I think we’re slowly but surely coming out of a really toxic zeitgeist about what motherhood and family are and what they’re not.” Jezabelle Cormio had a similar feeling after her pregnancy, “At first I thought I was going to be ‘that girl with potential’ , but then she had kids’,” she told me with a laugh, “I know it’s unfair and even understandable, but I know I’m going to have to fight that concept for a long time. I don’t think [motherhood] ] would inspire me, but I do get a lot of inspiration from frustration or anger or friction. So it’s no surprise that I’m inspired by it.” Cormio’s show featured a range of scantily clad men and women – wrap-around Miniskirts with cutouts at the hips, a jacket with velvet ribbons around the neck revealing a lace bra, tight knits, and lots of lingerie-inspired details. “What I wanted to capture in this series is that you haven’t fundamentally changed. You’re never going to a club anymore, you can go out and have sex and be a dynamic person. You just have to negotiate [your] Time.]”
Petsa agrees. “When you start a family, you don’t have to ‘lose yourself’ or your porn,” she explained. Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why her sexy Greek-inspired draped gown has become the actual dress for celebrity pregnancy photos, as seen in Gigi Hadid and Nicki Minaj’s Instagram posts. “For me, the concept of motherhood is also very broad – we can be motherhood in the love of others and ourselves,” she added. “I think there is an urge to revisit and rewrite the idea and image of motherhood, and to look at it in terms of embodiment and physical connection.”
Building connections and nurturing community is certainly characteristic of a new generation of designers whose work is made for a specific group of people and revolves around what they might call it Developed for a specific group of “the family of their choice”. ‘ In New York, Corinna Strada’s Hilary Tymer has long emphasized family ties with her show’s unconventional cast.