The sounds of Jay-Z and Kanye West’s song, “I Can’t Stop” blared over the loudspeakers at LaQuan Smith’s Fall 2014 presentation. The young designer has had quite a sparkling career–his garments have been spied on the likes of Nicki Minaj and Rihanna, and only a few seasons ago, his show was attended by the likes of Andre Leon Talley, Diane von Furstenberg, and Lorenzo Martone, with starlets like Serena Williams, Cassie, and Deborah Cox modeling his wares.
Fashion has a way of chewing up and spitting out their young. As Heidi Klum famously said on Project Runway, “One Day You’re In, and the next day you’re out.” But even with the intrinsic fickleness of the industry, LaQuan Smith is powering through, refusing to stop, regardless of what may come his way.
His latest collection shows the growth and maturity of a designer who has been at battle, but has emerged triumphant. Fittingly, he said, “The collection [has] a utilitarian, militant aesthetic. It’s very hardcore. [It’s] almost kind of like, the life of war, the life of a battle.” Indeed.
While his signature sinewy, close fit dresses pegged for the younger set are still available, he also incorporated more classics: think lacy dresses in black and navy, smart coats, and fabulously frilled skirts.
Still, there seem to be pieces for even the mature woman. Though a croc lined pencil skirt was modeled with a crop top, a woman of a certain age could pair the skirt with a button down for a more elegant look.
Another sign of evolution: his attention to menswear. Cropped pea coats and slouchy pants would be well pegged for a fashionisto with a bold outlook.
Photos by Karl Pierre