Can an Englishman reconsider America's identity? For the past couple of seasons, Stuart Vevers has been toying with the identity of America. But his musings are more relevant than ever.
Stuart Vevers hails from Yorkshire. 21 years of fashion brought him to New York, Italy, Paris, London, and back to New York in 2013 where he now helms the all-American Coach 1941.
His collections for Coach 1941 can be summed up in one word – reactionary.
In the Spring/ Summer 17 show, Vevers cited Santa Fe, New Mexico as his inspiration. He had fringes, leather jackets and thick-soled biker boots – all calling to the all-American cowboy culture. The show came in a time when then president-elect Donald Trump stepped on stage, guns blazing, dictating a wall to be built between the United States and Mexico. And Vevers was perhaps, calling for Americans to stay rooted, and dig deep into history.
Later in Fall/ Winter 17, Vevers took his all-American dialogue further, and more literal. The set resembled the golden grasslands of the central America. Models were clad in leather, denim, and shearling-trimmed coats – cues to the Texan cowboy dress code once again. By now, Trump's election had flooded the newsstands. An atmosphere of fear permeated the country. Yet, Vevers was trying to offer hope. "This is a celebration of positive things," he revealed when questioned if his collections were political.
Yesterday Vevers showed his Spring / Summer 18 collection. The floors were dressed in glitter. The models decked in satin dresses, suede cowboy shirts, woollen cardigan, T-shirts, bomber jackets, and Hawaiian printed shirts. The mood was distinctively positive and urban.
Tracks from American hip-hop group, A Tribe Called Quest rang loud. American political artist, Keith Haring's face was plastered on a T-shirt. American musician Lou Reed and writer William S. Burroughs were cited as inspiration. The runway set felt like a facade of '80s residential New York. It was a dramatic display of all-American elements.
But more important was the content of the show notes. In a moving conclusion, it proclaimed, "Celebrating American dreamers – and their endless spirit of possibility, boundless creativity and courage to be themselves – before, now and forever at the heart of the city."
Vevers brought fashion back to its roots – hope. When there war, chaos and a reigning depression, Christian Dior was there to offer hope and dreams. If despair struck the United States, Stuart Vevers is here to lend a helping hand.
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