“It feels like going back to the early days when people wore what they liked because they liked it,” Phil Oh, Vogue magazineLongtime street style photographer, says of the scene outside of the spring collections. “It’s about showing one’s true personality rather than wearing something because it’s trendy or cool.”
It may not sound radical, but dressing independently of social status, gender norms, body type, and occasion is still a revolutionary idea around the world. Just think of all the fashion dictates you know: no white after Labor Day, no men’s skirts, no horizontal stripes lest they accentuate the wrong curve. In the old school fashion, femininity required a delicate pump and masculinity required a suit. The new generation of fashion geeks born in the digital age is not only challenging these ideas – they are erasing them completely to reflect the new world of fashion that includes and represents all people.
Musician and model Angel Prost had a starring role on The Collina Strada Show: After walking the runway with their brother Lulu, they quickly transitioned to a techno-rock performance from their band, Frost Children. (As Spring 2022 collections rolled around the world, Prost had a leading season walking the runway for Chloe, Marni, Celine, Miu Miu, and more.)
When we met for coffee in New York’s Lower East Side—among stores like Bode, Café Forgot, and next door to the highly curated James Filuria classic, each representing the city’s new style—Proust seemed like a vision in nearly a dozen ethereal struggles and layers: Vintage floral-embellished jeans worn under a “My Me To Miu Miu” pleated wool skirt, tie-dye blouse and crochet jacket under a pink Collina Strada hoodie, and a long string of pearls. Celine bag in Dove Gray by Prost, a gift he received after appearing as a High Priestess wearing a kaftan in the menswear brand’s Spring 2022 video, covered in a charm Kauai Japanese characters. “I think I might go a little higher with what I’m wearing,” they say, noting that some designers have started asking for pieces from Proust’s wardrobe as seasonal references, “but a lot of it comes from inner fantasizing, watching movies, and getting inspiration for what the world could be like. Then I try to turn those fantasies into realities by getting dressed.”
Fantasia, dreams and childlike marvels are what make up the new generation of fashion stars – but it’s not all whimsy for the sake of whims. Prost, a transgender, uses their style not just for pleasure but for self-fulfillment. “A lot of the music I make and the way I dress is a fantasy I’ve never seen before,” they say. “How I dress now is the tendency to have those kinds of fantasies without apology.”
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