Designer Victor Barragán doesn't like to stay still; he alternates between Mexico City and Manhattan for his runway presentations each season, selecting new destinations to coincide with each collection.
This time around, amid the ongoing pandemic, his fashion haven of choice was a closed-down sushi restaurant in New York's West Village. The Sex and The City-favorite Sushi Samba's empty venue on Seventh Avenue was the perfect setting for Barragán's no-audience show, where his electrifying collection of vivid, men's and women's silhouettes, titled "Humilidad," commanded the space with ease.
For Spring 2021, Barragán's personal experience in America played a central role in the collection's conception. Tattooed on his body are the words "Tez Humilde," which translates to "humble complexion" and references a common racial slur in Mexican culture that implies "the darker your skin, the lesser value and status you have in society," the collection notes stated. In dissecting his personal experiences of colorism and reflecting on his journey from Mexico to the United States, Barragán birthed a collection that is unapologetic, in every sense of the word.
Bouncing, pleated skirts met square-toed boots and revealing, body-positive silhouettes, each decorated in vibrant colorways that pay homage to Barragán's Mexican heritage. He experimented with sequins for the first time, dousing a sharply cut mini dress in an array of purple-hued, custom iterations. Geometric motifs underscore the range, nodding to the ancient pyramids of the Mexican city Teotihuacan, while stars stitched into denim pants and t-shirts reflected the designer's US identity.
For Barragán, it all comes down to the smallest details. During the presentation, the designer wore cross-cultural contact lenses — one printed with Mexico's flag, and the other printed with the American flag — to assert the multi-national scope by which the collection came together.
See more looks from Barragan's Spring 2021 collection, below.
Photos courtesy of Barragan/ Carter Tanton