If there’s one New York designer who knows how to do sexy, it’s Laquan Smith. For its SS24 show at New York Fashion Week, the category was intergalactic sensual glam made for everyone across universes far and wide.
As soon as the first look came out – an oversized purple blouse with more buttons undone than done paired with a pair of shiny purple leather shorts more so in the shape of underwear – the tone was set. It was an opulent showing of glamour that the designer is known for pushed to new galactic heights.
Sheer mesh tops didn’t need to preach “Free the nipple,” it just did. There was an emphasis on shiny, metallic hues that seem to have landed on Earth via a spaceship. We also saw shape-defining bodysuits that are going to flood New York’s nightclubs come time for the collection to drop in-store.
Laquan Smith is for the baddies, obviously. If you didn’t already know, some of his favourite celebrities to dress include Julia Fox and Beyoncé. This roster is made up of women who aren’t afraid to own their sexuality, something unsurprisingly reflected in the runway’s front row attendees which included the likes of Laverne Cox and Saweetie.
While this collection felt very Laquan Smith, it did also include elements that felt like a step forward for the brand, specifically with the menswear looks. For its FW23 collection, Smith introduced menswear looks that were focused on tailoring and strong silhouettes, and this season the menswear was on par with the womenswear sultriness.
The first menswear look was made up of a collared sheer T-shirt paired with mini denim shorts, serving NSFW attire that was reflected throughout, with the exception of a men’s navy suit jacket paired with denim jeans. Laquan Smith debunked the myth that men are from Mars and women from Venus with this collection, as both the menswear and womenswear looks seamlessly flowed between one another, almost making the labels redundant (especially when considering a look consisting of baggy jeans with prominent zip detailing matching a high-neck silver chain top, which was seen on both a female and male model).
Laquan Smith brought the heat, further pushed by the red boxed lighting at the front of the runway that literally looked like a heater. It was definitely raunchy but that’s not to say it wasn’t an elevated collection.
A series of boxy coats and jackets, and beautifully constructed gowns showed off the designer’s knowledge of his wearers’ bodies. The last look, a plunging neckline dress made out of a cracked metallic silver leather reminiscent of the aluminium hats you can expect your average alien watcher to wear, proved that on top of the sexy glam, there’s a design prowess.
There’s a specific type of customer with Laquan Smith – the type to only bring lip gloss on a night out and wouldn’t bring a coat if it clashed with their outfit, even if it was snowing outside. This collection was an out-of-this-world fantasy that still felt in touch with the reality of what makes up the Laquan Smith brand.
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