Me at LUAR?! I’m not worthy!
Truly, that’s how I felt the second my ride pulled up to a remote street in Brooklyn. It was the most “my life is like a movie” I’ve ever felt. I say this because the crowd outside the venue was teeming to get in. There was an immediate energy of “oh, I’m at something special.” And that’s when the Midwesterner in me kicked in and thought, Should I be here? I’m not this cool. I’m definitively not, but I was there, and I knew I was gonna witness some greatness.
And I truly did before the show even started. The crowd was fashion week personified. It seemed like all of downtown Manhattan was there, and every look was enviable and inspiring at the same time. The row across from me was a perfect blend of courtside Knicks game-meets-street style superheroes. For real, if Marvel made a street style version of the Avengers, I swear I saw the team in all its glory— AGAIN, before the show even started! Again, I’M NOT WORTHY!
My new friend Claire and I were seated next to an avid LUAR fan who told us why designer Raul Lopez meant so much to them. They told us that they’re from the ballroom and vogueing community and love how LUAR incorporates his Dominican culture into the show. So often in fashion do many feel excluded, but Lopez makes them feel invited. Invited!
Here’s my smooth transition to the start of the show, you ready?! The lights go out, a large garage warehouse door lifts, the lights turn back on, and “Uninvited” by Alanis Morissette begins to play. How smooth was that? I’m ashamed to admit it, but that song starting the show was simply everything to this ’90s kid. It was the first part of the night where I was like, “Okay, maybe I do belong!” I could go on and on about Alanis… but I won’t!
The first look down the runway was a belted leather trench, but the belt was closer to where the collar would typically be. Even though the models had the most stoic, intimidating expressions I’ve ever seen, the crowd was welcoming them with hoots, hollers, and the sweetest cat calls you’ve ever heard.
The show felt fun, but the looks were serious and severe. Even the sweatsuits had a “take me fuckin’ seriously in my comfy clothes” vibe. While the pandemic has either left us burnt out on sweats, or still wearing them and feeling shame about it, LUAR gave us a gift—have your sweats and be a BOSS. The models also carried briefcases, so that probably helped sell the aesthetic.
And yes, I did say severe, but there was absolutely playfulness in the show too. Dress shirts were tucked into lavender sweat shorts and paired with dress socks and loafers. Again, with a briefcase that says, “I’m gonna sue you, but I’m gonna do it cozy, bitch!” This show truly had something for everyone. And I felt lucky to be one of the everyone’s there.
When Lopez closed the show, there was an outpouring of love from the crowd as he walked down the runway with his cute little niece in a T-shirt that said “I Love My Gay Uncle.” They should have handed out that tee as the crowd exited, because one thing was very clear at the end of the night: We all love your gay uncle, sweetie!
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