Edvin Thompson has always been vocal about how proud he is of his Jamaican heritage, a recurring influence in his work for Theophilio, the Brooklyn-based label that's also been nominated for the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. So after a long period of postponed events and just general inactivity, Thompson wanted to bring back the fantasy and escapism for his New York Fashion Week show through his Caribbean lens.
The collection was aptly titled "Air Jamaica" in homage to the airlines' colorful visuals and island references. Each look recalled the airline's airplane interiors while incorporating the red, green and yellow colors of the Rastafarian flag. Thompson was enamored by everything from the stewardess' uniforms to the food, beverages and magazines from his native culture.
Theophilio is as much a fashion label as it is a community-driven platform, so it wasn't a surprise to see creatives like Kerby Jean-Raymond, Law Roach, Brandon Blackwood, the Clermont Twins, Tainy and 24KGoldn all show up to support the designer. (According to a press release, Jean-Raymond's "Your Friends in New York" platform helped make the show possible.)
The airline theme was not only a nod to travel and destinations but also a manifesto of the immigrant experience in all its celebratory and adversary complexities. Visually, the clothes reflected Jamaica's bold and vibrant energy while keeping with Thompson's signature sexy and confident silhouettes, from body-con knits to cutout shapes and playful textures.
After the last model walked out, Thompson walked out with his team for the finale, an acknowledgment of not only the manpower it takes to put on a show but a celebration of his constituents and community who share his same inclusive values.
Photography: Andrew Boyle