Let the choir sing

Pyer Moss SS20
By Jake Hall | Fashion | 9 September 2019
Photography Emily Malan

It’s not hard to see why Pyer Moss, the brainchild of designer Kerby-Jean Raymond, was recently awarded Vogue’s prestigious $400,000 Fashion Fund. On Sunday night a seemingly endless line of fashion fans, insiders and editors snaked around King’s Theatre, a listed Brooklyn landmark. 500 of these guests have won a competition for free tickets, a fact which illustrates the palpable excitement around Raymond’s singular, much-needed vision.

Inside the opulent, 3000-capacity venue, a choir lined the stage dressed in simple black robes. They were the focal point of the collection, entitled Sister, which paid homage to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, a queer, black musical trailblazer credited with laying the foundations of rock ’n’ roll. Her influence was written across the clothes, which turned piano keys into cross-body bags and the silhouette of an electric guitar into the hem of a jacket.

The show wasn’t just a celebration of black excellence, it was also a clarion call. Writer Casey Gerald opened with a sermon which referenced the 400th anniversary of US slavery. “I’ve come here to say you can’t hurt us no more,” he said, setting the tone for a jubilant, defiant collection.

Pleated, floor-length silk gowns were reminiscent of church robes; short, colourful tunics were emblazoned with painterly guitar prints; white vests bore the message: “VOTE OR DIE.” ‘USA’ was printed across a black-and-white scarf which, on the reverse, bore the ‘PYER MOSS’ branding. This subtle remixing of US nationalism sent a powerful message that brands like Moss, which are unapologetically political and celebratory of blackness and its beauty, are here to stay.

GALLERYBackstage images from Pyer Moss SS20

GALLERYCatwalk images from Pyer Moss SS20