Rachel Comey Spring Summer 2024 collection fashion show in New York (September 6, 2023).
After a two-year hiatus from runway shows, Rachel Comey made a triumphant return to the fashion scene with her Spring Summer 2024 collection. Known for her commitment to alternative formats during the pandemic, Comey decided that a lookbook release wouldn't suffice this time. Instead, she joined forces with multimedia and performance art pioneer Joan Jonas, setting the stage for a memorable fashion show that defied conventions.
Joan Jonas, a spry octogenarian, was stationed midway down the runway in a pair of printed Rachel Comey pants, capturing every look with her iPhone. Comey's admiration for Jonas was evident as she described her as "brave" and "dynamic" in her use of different artistic mediums, from performance art to live drawings and installations. The introduction to this collaboration came through Soft Network, an arts non-profit, bridging the gap between generations of artists and designers.
The Rachel Comey and Joan Jonas collaboration was driven by woman-to-woman inspiration, resulting in a collection that exuded positivity and creative synergy. Despite the challenging late-season heat wave, the energy at the show was electric, fueled by the shared spirit of two individuals who refuse to be constrained by industry norms.
Rachel Comey's clothing has often been described as "basic without being basic," and this collection was no exception. The pieces inspired by Jonas's work were unique and special, without veering into the realm of ostentation. It's a refreshing departure from the pretentiousness that can often permeate both the fashion and art scenes.
Throughout the runway show, there were clear nods to Joan Jonas's artistic oeuvre. A miniskirt and dress were beautifully embroidered with fringe, reminiscent of a gallery poster bearing Jonas's name. Silver foil separates echoed Jonas's fascination with mirrored surfaces, with one model even carrying a full-length mirror in the crook of her arm, a delightful detail that brought a smile to Jonas's face. Abstract printed jersey pieces, meanwhile, seemed to draw from the artist's video work, seamlessly blending with Comey's colorful and irreverent design sensibilities.
Rachel Comey's creative process for this collection was an adventure in itself. She and her team delved into Joan Jonas's vast archive, using it as inspiration to create textiles, embroideries, knit pieces, and embellishments that paid homage to the artist's life's work. The result was a fashion show that felt like a celebration of art, collaboration, and the joy of experimentation.
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