Opening Ceremony designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim have always politicized their fashion. Six months ago, they registered people to vote at their New York Fashion Week show. We knew that the designers intended to present their new collection in advance of New York Fashion Week, working on a third collaboration, choreographed by Justin Peck of the New York City Ballet and titled 'The Times are Racing'.
Little did the artists know that at the same time protesters were fighting their way towards New York's JFK airport to protest the Trump administrations poorly-executed ban on refugees and even green card residents from seven primarily Muslim nations, their show would hit the Lincoln Center stage in a resounding third ballet, uplifting style chorus designed to support the protesters with slogans reading 'Defy,' 'Protest', 'Unite' and 'Fight'. These pieces make up the brand's Action capsule, presented as a see-now, buy-now collection and they served as a celebration of New York City's melting pot status.
“Our parents are first-generation immigrants—we’re second-generation,” Leon said, gesturing to his design partner. “We were thinking about that this whole time anyways—I think that this piece is so much more meaningful to us now.”
When Karl Lagerfeld sent supermodel Gisele Bundchen running down his runway with a sign about feminism, the scene was a fake joke and another example of fashion opportunism. But in the context of real-world events happening at that moment, Peck's choreography was spot-on. Solange, Claire Danes, Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard were on hand to join Leon and Lim for Saturday's performance.
In one of the most memorable scenes from the ballet, star ballerina Tiler Peck (no relation to Justin) was hoisted Statue of Liberty Style as the soundtrack of Dan Deacon's four-part protest suite 'America' anchored the Opening Ceremony takeaway tribute to huddled masses. In view of countless protests all over America since the Trump inauguration, the visual and audio message was breathtaking.
At one point in the evening, news of the Brooklyn Judge's 'stay order' against deporting any stranded people cause attendees to cheer.
In designing pieces for the core of Opening Ceremony's collection not inspired from the ballet costumes, the designers were inspired by photos of Ellis Island, where Americana motifs like denim and workwear-style overalls paid tribute to our heritage as an immigrant nation.
Later, the spacious promenade of the David H. Koch Theater dumped champagne in flutes for beer in plastic cups, as Baltimore-based electronic musician Dan Deacon -- the ballet's composer -- acted as DJ