Gabriela Herstik
February 23, 2017 3:32 pm
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It’s not everyday that fashion is able to truly give a voice to the political climate. Sometimes designers try, but it often feels trite and forced if it’s not coming from an authentic place. For Rio Uribe, the designer behind Gyspsy Sport and an ’80s baby born to immigrant parents, fashion is both inherently political and an obvious platform to help raise awareness for pressing issues.

The designer, who won the 2015 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Competition, grew up moving between LA and Mexico, which is reflected in his designs. With a sleek eye for sportswear and androgynous clothing, Uribe is giving a voice to Latinas, immigrants and people who are genderqueer, among others. For his fall 2017 runway show, the designer recruited most of his models from political rallies, like the Women’s March in LA and the protests agains the Muslim ban in New York, contributing to a really refreshing and diverse range of models.

These aren’t just models, they’re people who are sharing their story alongside Uribe. The designer opened the show with an important message,

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Genderless dressing goes hand-in-hand with both social responsibility, and for Uribe, being the child of immigrants. When you live in this world of duality, like when you’re splitting time between Los Angeles and Mexico, you’re naturally erasing the lines between “them” and “me.” Both cultures infuse who you are, where you come from and what you believe in. You can be American and Mexican, feminine and masculine, and still have a story that’s worth sharing with the world. This is a running theme in Gypsy Sport, which explores the dynamic of gender through constructing clothing that completely ignores the notion.

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Gyspy Sport’s Fall 2017 collection embraced this, as well as the idea that fashion can be both utilitarian and decorative. Camo jackets and cargo shorts we’re reimagined atop full body fishnet stockings, dog tags on display. Metallic dresses sailed down the runway next to asymmetrical, tent-like coats, camo dresses that resembled sleeping bags, laced tube tops and an overwhelming amount of velvet. The show managed to keep it light, incorporating tie-dye in pieces like patchwork hoodies and sweats, and hippie style rompers with matching tote bags.

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The collection also had a DIY feel, thanks to accents like bottle caps which were sewn onto a bra top and an entire shirt made from safety pins. Less in the vein of punk, and more in the vein of necessity, this collection reminds us that creating what you wear, even when you may not have a lot, is a reclamation of individuality, bodily sovereignty and humanity.

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Designers, take note. We love that Rio is unafraid to create his own path in the fashion world, and we can’t wait to see what he does next.

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