LAQUAN SMITH x NYFW 2019
by JANELLE OKWODU
“I will not, not be rich,” read a shirt in LaQuan Smith’s Spring 2020 collection. The phrase, first uttered by Laura Dern’s Renata Klein on the HBO hit Big Little Lies has become something of a meme since it first aired back in June, but the statement still packs a punch. Unapologetic, determined, and slightly ruthless, it sums up the character and the LaQuan Smith woman. Never mind the fact that a male model was the one wearing the piece, Smith’s vixen was front and center this season. From the moment Elsa Hosk stomped out in transparent, leopard-print latex, the crowd was on high alert.
Smith’s vision for Spring centered on the idea of an haute “hoedown” filled with badass babes. That meant a well-timed riff on Western, inspired by Nomi Malone’s hitchhiking days in Showgirls. Admittedly, clothes aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when one remembers that film, but Smith isn’t afraid to throw in a camp reference. Models wore ten-gallon hats and Texas-size belt buckles with their short shorts and python-print pencil skirts. Rawhide leather jackets and denim shirts with built-in corsetry added to the Americana theme.
For all the cowboy swagger, Smith’s standout moments came when he ventured into lingerie territory. A designer with an innate understanding of sex appeal, he displayed a knack for incorporating lacy nothings into his eveningwear. Bodysuits with a French cut so high even Bella Hadid would gasp, slips detailed with silver fringe, and pearl-encrusted boy shorts all felt modern and very rich indeed.