KRATER is not your average fashion show. Taking over Bushwick's gem-encrusted House of Yes on February 13, the radical collision of fashion design, visual art and underground techno provided a fresh take on New York Fashion Week.
At KRATER, there are no severe rows of seats, hushed tones or coy smiles. There are no shrill-voiced TikTok influencers (who seem to have taken over the front rows of NYFW '23). Each runway performance is bookended with thundering deep house DJ sets where the lights are turned off, drinks are set down and showgoers disintegrate into a pulsing, throbbing mass.
Branded as the "ANTI-FASHION" fashion show of New York, KRATER subverts the standard Manhattan runway show by centering the collection around emerging designers who are pushing industry boundaries themselves. The array of transgressive designers includes Femlord, Official Rebrand and Raspaditos, Erik Bergrin and Giselle, all of who debuted their new collections and collaborations through a series of disruptive multimedia performances: body contortions, butoh dancing, sage-smudging, bubble-blowing and lots of screaming.
"KRATER is an artistic incubator where imagination transcends itself," Giselle Manzano Ramírez, KRATER's founder and the final fashion designer of the night, says of the event. She quotes the Fashion Revolution Manifesto: "The mainstream fashion industry is built upon the exploitation of labor and natural resources. Now is the time to rise up together for a regenerative, restorative and revolutionary new fashion system."
Supported by Creatives Rebuild New York's Guaranteed Income for Artists program, the underground fashion movement was able to bring their experimental and thought-provoking work to the runway. Beyond putting on a strange and unforgettable experience for friends and supporters, KRATER's mission is to create a more sustainable and transparent fashion industry. By bringing NYFW to Bushwick, Giselle explains, "this is us reclaiming New York Fashion Week."
Photography by Nieto Dickens