Inside the largest queer event
at New York Fashion Week
Andrew Boyle for Hopes&Fears
"I'm trying to have my calm moment," said Giancarlo Corbacho. Backstage at the Brooklyn Museum, it was 15 hectic minutes before the show. Photographers pushed in and out of crowded rooms, taking pictures of people in various states of dress—and stress. One model stood perfectly still as someone glued last-minute bolts to his body. Across the hall, models for the FONY collection lined up in front of the freight elevator as designer Mackswell Sherman attempted a handstand.
VERGE, billed as the largest showcase for queer designers at this year's New York Fashion Week, and produced by dapperQ in collaboration with Posture Magazine, bklyn boihood, and DYDH Productions, featured eight emerging designers, focusing on the intersection of gender nonconformity, race, and culture. The show took place at the center of Beaux-Arts court of the Brooklyn Museum, which on most weekday nights showcases late 19th century paintings from the Salon des Refuses, the exhibition created in opposition to the exclusive Salon de Paris. This setting felt particularly fitting—we were a long way from the official fashion week shows at Lincoln Center, both in location and spirit.
Photographer Andrew Boyle captured the people behind this unique night for Hopes&Fears.
Cover: models wearing designer SunSun
Mackswell Sherman, designer, FONY
"It was exciting to have all of these designers from different backgrounds, not necessarily identifying as queer, or designing a specifically 'queer aesthetic', creating an environment that was universal, inclusive and professional."
Randi Shandroski, designer, LACTIC Incorporated
"I think a lot about dualities, and with that comes the 'gender binary problem' of societal expectations and norms. I'm interested in exploring this issue, complicating and asking questions about it. The collection is partly inspired by the lifestyles of warriors, so we were looking for durable people."
untitled queen (AKA matthew De Leon), model, wearing LACTIC Incorporated
MELANIE GAYDOS, model, wearing SAGA NYC
Sandra Gagalo, designer, SAGA NYC
"For me this show will be revolutionary, as to me it will be symbolic of the peeling-off of labels. It's about saying buh-bye to current societal constructs. We are collectively awake and we don't need the big wigs telling us who we are anymore."
Fabio Costa, designer, NotEqual
"I do see my work as reactionary, but not necessarily to the fashion world. I see fashion as a figure of speech and in my case it is directly related to my surroundings and experiences. The creative process for me begins with an emotion, or a thought that just won't be contained. This collection, for instance, is named IC, or 'in casu', Latin for 'in the event.' It's a social reflection on modern times and the need for protection 'in the event' of modern violence. Fashion, to me, reflects society and its times."
REBECCA RICHARDS, model, wearing LACTIC Incorporated
WINTER MENDELSON, show organizer, Posture Magazine
Winter Mendelson, show organizer
"What you often see on the runway is very whitewashed and size zero and tall, and we were trying to go away from that. We wanted real bodies on the runway, and clothing that pushed gender norms. It's supposed to be an alternative to NYFW, to give a refreshing perspective on what queer means and what queer fashion can be. We wanted something that was accessible, political, and a commentary on gender as a whole."