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Rowan Blanchard at Opening Ceremony SS17
Rowan Blanchard at Opening Ceremony SS17via youtube.com

Revisiting fashion week’s most political show

Watch Opening Ceremony’s documentary about its election-themed SS17 show

“This year’s election is extremely important because for the first time, at least in my history, we have a candidate who opposes the core fundamentals of what it means to be an American,” says Opening Ceremony designer Carol Lim in Fight For Your Right: Pageant of the People, a new documentary about the brand’s SS17 show. Staged as part of New York Fashion Week, the show – dubbed the Pageant of the People – was themed around the 2016 US Presidential Election and paid tribute to the American democratic process and the diversity of those who take part in it. 

“We wanted to break it down and think about what could be important in a pageant, and one of the things I do love is the representation of different people from all walks of life,” says co-designer Humberto Leon. “That to me is celebratory... Everyone is an immigrant here, unless you’re a Native American.” As well as a runway show inspired by the story of the American immigrant (with clothes bearing references to the Blue Ridge Mountains, California coastline, Great Plains and Alaskan tundra that the explorers would have encountered), the Pageant of the People featured a live debate.

Hosted by Portlandia directors Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, a number of Lim and Leon’s friends took to the stage to discuss issues that were important to them. Saturday Night Live’s Aidy Bryant participated, along Natasha Lyonne, Whoopi Goldberg and Rowan Blanchard who talks about feminism and women’s rights. Each of them finished by giving the audience one reason why they should vote and Goldberg delivered this message which, today of all days, rings true: “You should vote because if you don’t, you can’t bitch.”

Watch Fight For Your Right: Pageant of the People below: