Walking through New York City’s financial district, a sea of men and women in matching monochromatic suits fill the streets, dead-eyed and nondescript. In Trump’s corporate America, they’re the ones on top—the financiers, entrepreneurs and moguls who trade their individuality for a facade that ensures success. But after 9-to-5, these buttoned-up bores unleash their inner freak, flinging fetishes or engaging in secret worlds their bosses would certainly scorn.
Related | Gallery: Backstage at LUAR Spring '18
For New York-based Dominican designer Raul Lopez, this dichotomy inspired his brand LUAR’s spring ’18 collection, which imagined a corporate world where office hours and after hours coexisted. Aptly titled “Corporativo,” Lopez subverted stuffy Savile Row silhouettes through a queer lens to create a new dress code that reimagines Trumpian cubicle style.
Set against a video of suited men fighting, LUAR’s models offered an alternative vision of Wall Street with wildly pinned hair extensions that poked fun at our President’s unruly combover. The gender-fluid looks were rooted in classic menswear staples, with suits, trousers, shirts and ties given undertones of femme fetishwear—a sartorial fantasy seemingly dreamt within a party thrown by Ladyfag, who sat front row near underground icons Jay Boogie and Ian Isiah.
The collection juxtaposed timeless business attire against provocative streetwear, reflecting Lopez’s original design roots at Hood By Air (Shayne Oliver was notably backstage, as well). Shirt sleeves were finished with matching miniature shirts and a pair of khakis decorated with a smaller pair positioned over the model’s crotch. Traditional ties were used excessively, grouped together as avant-garde neckpieces and fitted skirts. Altogether, it was humorous, but nothing to gawk at—an exciting proposition for a liberal world that favors freedom over fortune.
Photography: Hunter Abrams