Gypsy Sport Made Grown Ass Men Cry

Fashion week’s never seen fierce like this

Topping his guerrilla-style show on the streets of Paris last season was all but impossible, especially when the location was Pier 59 Studios. The space is, as it says on the tin, a studio, so nothing remarkable—a big plain square space. But with less distraction came a more focused attention—and it made some showgoers cry. As designer Rio Uribe joined his motley crew of street- and social-cast misfits for the show’s finale, people in the audience wiped tears from their eyes—it was emotional. Before it was emotional though, it was fierce—like Paris is Burning in upcycled attire. Blonde-buzzed model Jazzelle Zanaughtti opened the show in a black leather mini skirt, black patent thigh-high boots, and a chain and metal wire bra, like a Mad Max character, but much more explicit. Shortly after the show, she posted a slow-mo vid to her Instagram, @uglyworldwide, with the caption, “y’all bitches can’t even spell NASTY!!” I mean, I thought I could, but now I’m not sure. The non-binary brigade that thence poured forth was life affirming. Big, small, tall, short, L, G, B, T, Q…everyone was represented. Actually, lolz, there were no straight white men. But they’re represented enough! Ladies, am I right? And in a first for Uribe, this collection was exclusively black and white. He told me that post show, but honestly if I’d been asked what the color palette was afterwards, I wouldn’t have said it was such. With the richly diverse selection of skin tones (and readers, there was a lot of skin), the tattoos, and hair colors, from pink and red to sundry shades of blonde, “black and white” honestly didn’t register. Maybe that was the point. “We had 300 people come to a casting—we only invited 100, but of course, somehow, people find out,” explained Uribe. “We cut that down to these 30—it’s all people that I think need to be seen on a runway, of different ages, different body types, skin tones, genders, and I have the power to do that—I always have. My biggest statement is always about diversity and inclusion.” A flip through the slideshow and you’ll see, this group of humans mostly doesn’t match society’s white-washed beauty mold. And you could see too, that many of them might be uncomfortable in situations where those molds are revered as important—essential even. But here, on Uribe’s runway, populated with so many other “others,” everyone was celebrated for exactly who they were. Everyone was fabulous. Everyone was fierce. Equally so? Well, just about. Except perhaps Desmond Is Amazing, the 10-year-old LGBTQ activist, drag performer, and founder of the fist drag house for youths, Haus of Amazing. Desmond served so much fabulous sass on that runway and walked like a bonafide pro. You can find that star at The Clermont Twins also walked, their signature long, blonde hair swanging behind chainmail dresses made from crushed soda cans, and all accessorized with cowboy boots and hats, and British trans activist Munroe Bergdorf, with pink ombré hair, black boots, a silk and lace chemise, and an Elizabethan-style lace neck ruff—she closed the show, and just then, it was like a weight was lifted off everyone. In those moments, no one, audience included, was shackled by socially constructed prejudices. And as Uribe walked back out with Bergdorf and the rest of the gang, we cried a bit. As I said—it was emotional. 

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