In the backdrop of a former factory, the centre of which was a sizeable rectangle of dirt, set the stage for Elena Velez’s fashion show at the recently held New York Fashion Week. What started as a traditional march, like all runway shows are, ended up in a mud fight with models mauling at each other. As seen in the latest collection, the designer’s style language, a lot like her beliefs, is pretty straightforward. Clean lines and cohesive silhouettes dominate the collection. So why dirty them with a mud bath? What lies behind the latest collection is a narrative women all over the world comfortably lay in discomfort in and the designer through her show aimed to highlight that with no words but actions. Being a woman isn’t always pretty. Through her curation, she pieces the chaos and complexity of being a woman and the multiple roles she takes on during her life. Elena’s show instantly went viral and has since been reposted on multiple platforms and covered by numerous international media publications.
Elena Velez declined a press meet after her show ended and if anything, it speaks volumes without words being uttered. If there is anything worth saying, her clothes will speak for themselves. Through her collection, the clothes leave much to one’s imagination and interpretation to force you to think louder. Although she declined a press meet, she did release a manifesto. She wrote “We have lost touch with our gift and responsibility to paint a truthful and beautiful picture of our times. It feels to me like the sanitization and unilateralization of womanhood in popular culture today leaves no room for the nuance and multiplicity we deserve as architects of labyrinthine interior lives.” As for a microscopic view of the clothes, the collection is a realistic approach to what the women want to wear – without rules and regulations but one that requires close to no effort.
Elena Velez is the working-class designer raging against the system and the cage it puts women in. Many women were quick to react finding a shared sense of belonging with the designer. One user wrote, “You’re fantastic at your chosen discipline.” Another posted a reel on Instagram extensively pointing out what she felt was good about the show, but how fashion took a hit with this showcase.
One of the highlights of her descriptive reaction to the show was ” I think as a designer she is definitely put in difficult situations and financial stress that is just all too familiar.” Take a look:
On all fronts of fashion and especially viral fashion, Elena Velez stands undefeated. The wars on womanhood though, have a long way to go.