Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2017 Fashion Show Was A Political Ballet
Head designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim of Opening Ceremony collaborated with New York City Ballet resident choreographer Justin Peck on his new ballet “The Times Are Racing.” The theatrical dance also simultaneously debuted Opening Ceremony’s Spring 2017 collection. The dancers wore slogan tees that demanded action like “Defy,” “Protest,” “Unite,” and “Fight,” as well as other Opening Ceremony pieces inspired by the 19th century photographs of Ellis Island.
More and more, designers and brands are questioning the purpose of a traditional fashion runway show, and looking for ways to, “insert fashion into culture,” as Leon described it. Instead of using the typical catwalk scene, fashion industry leaders are now exploring other and fresher ways of getting their message out to their audiences.
In a press release from Opening Ceremony, the brand explained how the collection “is a meditation on the American melting pot…where individuals from diverse backgrounds crossed paths.” The dance performance draws upon the history of immigrants in America as inspiration was especially relevant to current political happenings when considering the backlash and protests in response to Donald Trump‘s executive order on prohibiting travel to the United States from seven designated countries. “Our collection, and these designs, began with the idea of journeying to America,” Leon said.
“I see this performance as kind of a mini-protest,” Lim said, after the final bow. “The energy that drives it is a hard energy, but ultimately, when you go out and take a stand, and see all these other people taking a stand alongside you, you feel uplifted. That’s what we wanted for the collection, too—that feeling, like, yeah, this is who we are!”