In a love letter to trans sisterhood, the designer stages an empowering show modelled by her inner circle at the Ace Hotel
This season in New York, designer Gogo Graham created a love letter to trans sisterhood in the form of 21 ensembles worn by members of her inner circle. Each model walked their way around a long stone table in the crowded lobby of the Ace Hotel New York with a reservation card that read “Sorry Gorgeous, I’m taken.” Salvaged fabric scraps that had once been discarded as waste were now triumphantly transformed with a tender, yet throwaway style, into exuberantly ostentatious gowns, cheeky on-display lingerie and slinky first date dresses – clothes that were created to be the most outrageous statement in the room.
Arms, fingers and ensembles, still wet from being painted crimson by Glossy, Kaidon Ho and Kelley McNutt only minutes before, glistened as beautifully diverse personalities and bodies walked through waves of the audiences’ exuberant cries of recognition, encouragement and praise. The grand finale was the moment Graham herself arrived to greet the audience, armfuls of flowers accumulating, radiant as she kissed her parents in the front row under the spotlight. She was surrounded by her best friends, their supporters and even the Ace Hotel’s guests, whom the positivity of the moment had drawn near and enchanted.
“Graham’s collection was not about the creation of clothes or even the fun frivolity of making big one-off fashion statements. Rather it represented a moment in which everyone involved came together to celebrate the importance of every trans girl’s unique story, beauty and individuality”
Graham’s collection was not about the creation of clothes or even the fun frivolity of making big one-off fashion statements. Rather it represented a moment in which everyone involved – from designer Gogo, to DJs Serena Jara and Juliana Huxtable, to the producers Jessica Greene and Daniel Abbott, models including Macy Rodman and Ser Sera and to the audience – came together to celebrate the importance of every trans girl’s unique story, beauty and individuality.
It’s triumphant indeed that New York Fashion Week has become an opportunity and platform for such important landmark events. The clothes gave everyone a reason to be there, but it was everyone who worked so hard on the show who gave it meaning. Whether Gogo will continue to show at NYFW – her designs are meant to be one-off creations rather than commercial – her interest lies in empowering those she loves with self truth, self esteem and self acceptance with just an added sprinkle of glamour. What a triumphant moment for Graham, for New York and for all trans girls around the world.