You know what the worst part of growing up outside a certain standard is?
The fact that you're actively encouraged to lose yourself in order to start blending in.
As far as hair goes, naturally voluminous hair is actively discouraged and disparaged—made to be tamped down and tampered with until it no longer stands up and out, until it's easy to ignore or overlook in a crowd. (No other parallels to be made there, I'm sure.)
And that's why I was thrilled to see the most eye-popping colors coming down the runway so expertly coordinated with jaw-dropping natural styles. Creme of Nature's team came together to radiate fierceness, and none of these bright looks were anything to be taken lightly.
The Day-Glo up was real.
Stylist David De La Cruz and hair artist Pekela Riley, made every element marry together on the runway, but since I got my one on one with Pekela, I'm going to explore how David let these 'loud' looks do all of the talking under the spotlights.
Confidence in Color
I truly do believe that whatever look you want to have, you can have it. As long as your clothes fit and you're happy, I say full steam ahead. But I'm not going to sit here and pretend you don't have to OWN a neon color scheme. Have you ever heard of a half-hearted hot pink? I haven't. I can scarcely imagine what that'd even be.
But everything coming down the aisle was capital 'P' POPPIN'. As in glasses prescription altering, wear your broad spectrum UV moisturizer, can't help but notice poppin'. These are the colors I'd squeal over exclaiming that they were 'So obNOXious' if they came in the extra bright bondage pants this show made me realize I needed. And when I say obnoxious, I mean it in the best way.
In a world that's still so determined to stamp out black voices and features and fashion, presenting co-ords that CAN'T go unnoticed is a perfectly manicured finger up to those efforts. Loud = Proud.
Bonus, I don't think I've ever shared with our audience here how much I ADORE opposite color schemes together in pairs? Well I do, and the young lady in the very first image having this counterpart ALSO in orange, green, and white but flipped?
Made my entire night.
The Funky Flow
Modeling is difficult.
A lot of people scoff at that, I used to scoff at it myself, but given I saw these ladies in Pekela's chair partially done at 10 AM, the show itself didn't START until 7:30, and they took the stage to look 100% poised, walking AND serving face at the same time, and in these two's case...DANCING despite being in and out of chairs and shuffling around in a busy backstage all day? Can you juuuuuust make out those toes en pointe? Yeah, that's a tall order—I myself can just barely shake off a leg falling asleep.
But what came down the runway had movement in the fabric as well as in the talent. It wasn't so much that there were miles of ruffles on everything, it was that every look fluttered with the models and allowed for movement. Combined with the color, this created an atmosphere of bold, unfettered freedom with every outfit, and that made my heart swell up more than I could have expected. We reference fashion statements, but these were more gleeful shouts than sentences.
Now this surprised me a bit at first, but then it started to make sense.
Ironic as it may sound, it's possible to disappear into a bold look. If everything is flashy colors, things start to look like JUST a vaguely humanoid pallate coming at you, rather than an ensemble walking. And certainly there's nothing wrong with that. As a lover of dramatic looks, I'd be the last person to tell you it was wrong. But Mr. De La Cruz kept these looks firmly in the 'ready to wear' category, so despite the obvious artistry behind them, these weren't the kind of styles that'd do well with papier-mâché crane headresses or trained multi-colored fish encased in shoes—as such, the invocation of the 'You but better' makeup trope made a lot of sense. Hair, makeup, and wardrobe are like a family together—why have them feud against each other when they could each come together to be greater than the sum of their parts?
This is how I start getting emotional about these things, y'all.
I had an amazing time at Texture on the Runway. For someone that has to work at leaving the house to have fun, being thrust into the thick of high fashion and bright lights was overwhelming, but nothing pulled me back together like seeing the end result of all the chaos at the event proper! The sense of kinship was incredibly grounding, my sense of aesthetics were stimulated, the drinks were free, and I was so unfathomably fortunate to get to see the wealth of black skintones and hair types both in the spotlight and working behind the scenes! I look forward to the day when events like these aren't born out of necessity for carving out a space, but until then (and probably even past then, don't fix what isn't broken), I'll look forward to this every year.
Are you getting the rest of the coverage, curlies? Click around, and don't miss any of the other TOTR collections!
This post is sponsored by Creme of Nature.