Chinese designer Calvin Luo may be only 21, but his gender bending New York runway show and display of app-controlled LED technology drew a packed house in New York Monday.
There were his n’ hers mix and match: sharply tailored jackets, pants and gauze mesh tops created for “young boys, young girls who have a very strong attitude,” as he said backstage.
Blurring the lines between male and female, Luo sent out male models in dresses over pants, and women in male suiting. There were sweatshirts and hoodies, and sharply tailored two-tone coats.
“I really like unisex style,” explained Luo, who launched his own label in 2014 after just two years studying design in New York, having moved to the city from China as a 16-year-old.
“Asexual means there’s no boundary,” he told AFP. It was a study in camel, black, olive and grey with striking dashes of cobalt and garnet.
In case no one got the message: “Asexual,” “Not interested in sex” and “Not having any sexual qualities” were printed in capitals on sleeves, embracing a trend for the written word on the catwalk this season.
Gender bending regardless, it was eminently wearable, with vertical striped knit dresses and cardigans, olive sports hoodies, tweed-style tartan and giant hoop earrings and matching embellishment on boots.
As at Alexander Wang, a New York fashion week star and another fan of the androgenous style, Luo’s models had heavy gothic-style eyeliner.
He also produced a capsule collection in collaboration with Chinese technology company Lenovo — black PVC with embedded LED lights that spelt out their brand names as models danced down a darkened catwalk.
The designer said a cell phone app allowed the wearer to type whatever they wanted onto the LED template, the latest example of tech-fashion link-ups hoping to innovate clothing.