As fashion becomes more and more comfortable with the idea of divorcing gender from clothing, we have fortunately seen a rise in gender-fluid and unisex collections from established names like Givenchy to smaller upstarts. One of the pitfalls of designing for a post-gender market has been navigating the nuances of androgyny and nonbinary aesthetics that can cast a wide enough net and appeal to a variety of people while avoiding a bland formless silhouette. This problem is propelling a new generation of designers to challenge preconceived notions and experiment in radical new ways.
One of the designers leading the way is Bushwick-based, Nay Campbell. Now back with his third collection for Lordele, Campbell is taking a newer, more environmentally conscious approach to garment-making in what essentially amounts to fashion freeganism. Almost exclusively using up-cycled clothes and found materials, Campbell has re-purposed them into new exciting forms. In a sense similar to Vivienne Westwood's eco-activism and calls to "buy less, buy better," Campbell's use of recycled materials very much ties into to a culture of thrifting already prevalent among Bushwick creatives.
Transmuting odd bits, like hair extensions, into bespoke textiles, Campbell's latest Lordele collection is vibrant, whimsical, and refreshing. Going a step further to literalize the connection between his piece's manufacturing and the end result, Campbell's non-conforming beauties radiate among mountains of discarded detritus.
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Far from drowning his models in fabric, the clothes are sexy and elegant, perfect for transitioning from a gallery opening to a club or vice versa. Lordele is not afraid to take risks which makes the payoffs oh so satisfying, operating from a place of confidence fueling ambition. The brand demonstrates what the spirit of non-binary fashion can, and ultimately should, be.
Photography: Joseph Viola