The most highly anticipated time of the year for fashion moguls, creatives, and fans alike has been pushed far off the grid for the foreseeable future. Fashion weeks, with all their esteemed guests, overpriced food, and impeccably dressed herds flocking to European capitals has had to take a back seat until the novel Coronavirus subsides. And as such, both established design houses and up-and-coming designers have had to roll up their sleeves, much like any professional in any industry, and conjure up a plan to use increased online activity to the their full advantage. After their Iceland fashion show was cancelled, queer Palestinian brand, tRASHY CLOTHING became one of the regional players in this scheme, launching Cyber Fashion Week amidst the ongoing pandemic, and presenting their showcase alongside regional and international brands like Dynasti, Hypepeace, and Patshuro.
Unable to readapt their original show idea to the digital world, the brand’s founder Shukri Lawrence decided to scrap it altogether and start fresh, bringing their own interpretation of online fashion into existence. “The challenge was to create digitally for the digital world, which had a beautiful outcome in the end. We wanted people to forget what they know about fashion week, and come with an open mind to new ideas,” Lawrence tells SceneArabia.
With the help of the brand’s designer Omar Braika and musician Nina Jirachi, the brand was able to pull together the video content for tRASHY CLOTHING for Cyber Fashion Week, which took place last month from May 25th to 30th and included international brands, as well as virtual afterparties with performances including the likes of Russian activist group Pussy Riot.
“As a queer Palestinian brand, we are fighting to represent two identities simultaneously. tRASHY CLOTHING comes from our personal stories; with every collection we release, we’re discussing topics with our customers, we’re questioning ideologies, pushing new ways of looking at certain things, and in a kitsch satirical attitude. Reclaiming is a big factor in what we do, especially words. We give words a lot of power and we can reclaim that; queer was an insult until the LGBTQ community reclaimed it,” Lawrence explains about the ethos of his brand.
The brand’s digital show was based on a theme of ‘past, present, and future,’ a term that Lawrence says he’s been hearing a lot lately. The concept was drawn from the reality that most of the world is stuck reminiscing the past before the pandemic, while feeling scared and hopeful for the future, and because we’re all forced to act right now for the best interest of our livelihoods.
The brand describes themselves as campy but political, sarcastic but serious, trashy but make it fashion. Using 3D models and scans sent from customers who had already purchased their pieces, they were able to put together one of the more impressive displays of the virtual fashion event. In the end, the result was the creation of one of the most powerful answers to the question of the future of fashion during this uncertain time.