Designer, Luar Zepol
This collection's theme was "Desacatao." "It means 'ready, willing.' It's just Dominican slang for just ready to go off and do whatever you want. The collection is inspired by tactical wear. It's this boy that falls into this matrix, and he's just like, paintballing with his friends, going crazy in the Dominican Republic. I just wanted to reminisce on my childhood when I would go paintballing and what I would love to wear. I always tap into my childhood or things that have happened to me, and I take it and interpret it in my way for the future."
There aren't that many designers in New York who are mining Latino backgrounds. "No, there really aren't, or that are even pushing the envelope in menswear. People want to stay real traditional, classic."
Brenmar DJ'd your show. "He's a really good friend of mine, but the guys who did the music are Gatekeeper, who couldn't be here. I showed them some images of the clothes and we're always on the same page. They're so good and forward. I'm really into Disney, scary movies and the whole villain [vibe], very spooky sound effects. Their music is kinda that. I always want to put people into a trance so when you leave the show you can't get over it. Spooky, but in a good way."
What’s your prediction for 2014? "Gender-bending. Grabbing all the genders and just bending them every which way. I just want no boundaries. I feel like men and women were created equal. In the Eastern hemisphere, men can wear kilts, tunics, dresses. If you wear a dress or tunic here, you're gay, you're a freak. To me, it's beautiful. I love when someone wears something of mine and feels powerful."
Luar Zepol's Fall 2013 collection is available at Opening Ceremony.
Rapper; performer, Highland presentation
How many fashion weeks have you been to? "This is my first one. It's probably gonna be my last."
Why do you think this will be your last? "Cause Imma probably just go home and watch Parenthood on Netflix. This is the only thing I'm going to this fashion week, but also I don't plan to live long enough to be at future fashion weeks."
What is your prediction for Spring fashion 2014? "Oh man, Kanye! You gotta say Kanye! You gotta give it up to Kanye on that one!"
What do you mean specifically by "Kanye"? "Just like his whole aura, you know? Yeezus."
If you were going to cast a fashion show, who would you ask to play the music? "Probably, Kanye. Yeezus, Kanye. Jay-Z. I love the snakeskin snapbacks."
Musician; performer at Luar Zepol afterparty.
Where have you been? "I've been living in L.A, working on music with everyone from Nguzunguzu, Brodinski, to Skrillex. I may be back in Paris, I may be back in L.A. I'm a little gypsy anime girl. But L.A is really conducive to being creative, actually. You come to New York City just to get like, a little depressed, and then you go to L.A to work with it… but I'm signed to Universal, and when I first met Monte [Lipman, label head], I was like, listen: I'm on birth control. Let's do this shit. I am not fucking around. Let's blow the fuck up."
Fashion Week: "It's so weird, I mean, I'm not a schmoozer. It's really about supporting family though, like Raul, Hood by Air. The people who are family, who support me and love me. So it's been good."
Maluca's new single, "Vitamin D," produced by Bangladesh, is out soon.
DJ; played Jeremy Scott's afterparty
How did you link up with Jeremy Scott? "I became friends with Jeremy through Pablo who does his PR. I met them maybe four or five years ago and me and Pablo just started to hang out. One year I just asked if I could DJ their afterparty and ever since then I've DJ'd it for the last three seasons."
Do they give you directives about what to play? Do you have to match your selections with the collections? "It's very open format because all the DJs they ever have, they have gone to their parties. They've come to many of mine, Mademoiselle Yulia's [who also DJ'd], and they pretty much know what it's about. It's a pretty open international family."
What song did you DJ that made the party go off? "'Work' by A$Ap Ferg. That's when I heard people screaming."
You were carrying the Jeremy Scott Madonna-skull bag from last season. What was in it? "My cigarettes, my chapstick, headphones for Djing and my two USBs that I plugged into the CDJs. Nothing crazy!"
Did you see a lot of fashion week? "Not this season, I chose to actually help the Jeremy Scott team so it was the first season I was there doing castings and everything."
What's your prediction for Spring 2014? "I think there's gonna be a lot of things will go topsy turvy. People aren't gonna know what hit them, in terms of style, different companies, brands collaborating with artists, different people getting hired, different people revamping things. Things that no one would have expected."
Producer/DJ; manned decks for Luar Zepol runway
Does style ever come into play with your music? "Music is style. Fashion is fashion, genres are genres. Fashion's fun if you’ve got money or friends in that world, but style is everything. You could be broke as shit and still have style, you could be rich as shit and not have any style. Music's the same—musically, style is more like taste, right? -- why you decide to use a sample or sound over that sample or sound. It's all subjective."
Do you have a Spring 2014 prediction? "Man, I feel like I'm seeing mesh everywhere. If we're just talking trends, even I was thinking mesh. I was like yo, I could wear that, cause you could layer it. Maybe that's what 2014 is about, layering. But with mesh, you can work it. A lot of people are doing their own take on it. There was mesh today, I saw it at Hood by Air too."
Rapper, singer, producer, painter; performer, Highland presentation
How many shows have you played? "Well, I've played a lot with Le1f, hyping him. But solo? Once. Three weeks ago, I had a release party for my mixtape. It was kinda secret, at this really small gallery in Chinatown, so it was a success for sure."
Is your music influenced by style? "It's influenced by everything I listened to when I was little, which is like, Cam'ron, Dipset, and bossa nova, and Anita Baker. Nineties R&B is probably the biggest influence. For my video, 'My Crew,' I wanted to make it look like a painting. I was thinking about portraiture and landscape and ways I could make it look like a formal painting. And we ended up working with designers like Asher Levine -- I played his fashion week show with Le1f last year. But I'm really not knowledgeable in terms of fashion. I'm pretty casual in my personal style, but I very much appreciate dope shit."
How is your fashion week going? "I went to the V-Files thing last night."
Did you meet Cam'ron? "I didn't, but I saw him. I was most excited to see Juju, his girlfriend. She's my favorite on Instagram."
DonChristian's The Wayfarer mixtape is out now.
Rapper, dancer; performer, Highland presentation
Where did you come from? "Born and raised in Brooklyn. I've been writing poetry since I was 11, 12. My first outlet was writing, not rap but strictly poetry. My friend asked me super last-minute to be in his band, and that's how it happened, but then I started dancing for Major Lazer so the band kinda faded away. A lot of my music is really expressed through dance. I wouldn't really call myself a lyricist. I talk mad shit, sometimes it doesn't make any sense, but the dancing makes up for it."
How do you balance everything? "I'm trying to work on my EP but it's so hard cause I'm always traveling with Major Lazer. I try to have a vibe and access a certain mindframe but I don't have any one particular vibe and traveling is so distracting. Right now, I'm trying to have a video and a Soundcloud [page]. No one can force your creativity."
Producer/DJ; performer, Highland presentation
So, we heard you're working on a harpsichord album? "Yeah, a harpsichord album! No, I'm working on a record for TriAngle Records and yeah, it's got a lot of medieval themes. It's a weird record, but it definitely uses medieval themes. It's an attempt to tell a story about a late '90s hip-hop hero who gets eaten up and spit out by society, and in an effort to be really heady and intellectual about it—well not an effort, I just can't help it—it ends up talking about Machiavellian concepts. So I can't help but use medieval themes."
How did you come up with that? "I've been thinking about the biggest stars of all who get chewed up and spit out—it could be DMX, it could be Britney Spears… this idea that you reached the highest heights as a young person while you're probably as fucked up as you could ever be as a young person. But you have to do it in the spotlight. That's an interesting thing to me."
Are you also inspired by medieval fashion? Are you thinking of this character in medieval clothing or is it a hybrid '90s rapper/medieval ensemble? "Definitely the royal clothes, the baroque period -- in general, the idea of clothes that use gold and extremely expensive objects; the idea of opulence in physical expression. I'm not thinking about how cool the peasants were looking."
What do you think is going to be really hot in Spring 2014? "I'm an autumn baby, and I just wanna be wearing autumn colors all the time. I think oranges and dark autumn colors for Spring."