Blake Hyland, an Australian born, Vancouver-based designer, decided to take a risk for his NYFW debut. The designer, who had previously described his design style as conceptual and deconstructive, decided to tone down his notably outlandish recycled designs to create a more practical collection, which in turn helped to deliver a larger message.
“I’m just trying to concentrate on making a more wearable collection for the majority of people but still having elements that are true to me and my style.”
The Spring/Summer 2017 presentation was titled “Equality.” Hyland sought to make a political statement through his clothing and was indeed successful in doing so. The usually monochrome designer decided to mix black and white colors to promote the titled equality.
“I just wanted it to promote equality and equal rights for people: gender, race, color, whatever it may be, I just wanted to show something that — black, white, whatever you are — can come together and work to make something beautiful together.”
The intention behind the color mixing was only made more powerful when matched with a political t-shirt. On two occasions, Hyland made the creative choice of styling the black and white looks with black, white and red shirts that were printed with a political figurehead.
“It’s definitely political,” said Hyland, “I want to support a sort of strength behind peoples’ beliefs. And for them not to necessarily fear having an opinion or anything like that. I think it’s really important for people to still be vocal about how they feel and how they think. And that’s, for me, through my clothing… I always try to translate a bit of a statement and a bit of a powerful message behind my clothing.”
Through simplifying and refining his design style and purposefully including a mix of colors alongside a political figure, Hyland successfully delivered a timely urgency for unity and equality amongst all.
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