Landeros New York Spills on the Intersection of Fashion, Gender, and Politics (Interview)

Photo by Eric White

Among the NYFW standout shows this season was Landeros New York’s Fall ’17 Ready-to-Weat presentation, which was a refreshingly daring, genderless collection unafraid to shirk traditional binary silhouettes entirely in favor of a chic, architectural, sexually charged androgynous line made up of beautiful leathers, wools, and furs. We sat down with head designer Andre Landeros Michel to talk about the collection and his swift rise to the forefront of boundary-pushing fashion.

What prompted the journey from accessory designer for Ladyfag’s popup to designing your own fully fledged collection?

From the inception of the house, my ambition has been to create a full collection and to show during New York Fashion Week. Accessories seemed like a great place to start and what better place than POPSOUK with its New York underground nightlife roots? Nightlife and the underground have been a formative part of my life for years. In short, LadyFag’s PopSouk has been — and continues to be — a great platform for the collection.

What’s the inspo behind the collection? I’m seeing French club kid-meets-Mapplethorpe-meets-The Matrix vibes.

For this collection, I took inspiration from a multitude of musical and cinematic referents, including the underground New Wave and goth/punk music scenes from the 1980s, as well as the film Rosemary’s Baby. I was also inspired by the occult — and early 20th-century séances. As far as muses, the late front man Pete Burns of the band Dead or Alive figures heavily in this collection, as does Siouxsie of Siouxsie & The Banshees.
Photo: Eric White

Fashion as it fits into politics and the current climate?

Certainly, politics figure into fashion — as we witnessed throughout the collections at this year’s New York Fashion Week A/W 17. My preference, however, is to offer an escape, and, thereby, to enable the collection to transcend a particular situation.  I like to imagine the collection as a kind of reverie or dream-state that drifts above the quotidian.

How does fashion work as an expression of gender to you?

Personally, I don’t believe that a skirted man is necessarily less masculine than a man in pants. For example, most of us don’t regard a woman in a three-piece suit as masculine. Marlene Dietrich in a tuxedo, which has traditionally been male attire, looks tremendously sexual. For Landeros New York, we’ve adopted silhouettes that, historically, have been labeled male or female — and, instead, we’ve given both of them a level playing field. Gender stems from within; we like to present the entire sartorial spectrum without limitations.
Photo by Eric White

Fabrics used?

Leather, PVC, metallic wool, double-faced cashmeres, silk organza, silver fox.

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