Victor Barragán’s runway debut at NYFW saw the queer Mexican designer studying the streets for inspiration—all the recurring motifs that are cultural norms outside of fashion, including the tribal tattoo. “So many people have it,” he says, praising the graphic phenomenon. “I liked how cheesy and bad it looks, but wanted to use it as the main focus for the collection.” This comedy is at the core of Barragán’s burgeoning brand, elevating humor with “value and research.”
Spring ’18 saw the tattoo incorporated on skin-tight, unisex ponchos, boxers worn underneath sagging jeans and a silver necklace that served as a top for the finale look. Barragán also played with unusual cuts to celebrate bare skin in warmer weather—tops were cropped too short, revealing subtle underboob, waistlines dropped too low like early 2000’s pop stars, and cutouts framed to showcase the naked stomach.
These sexy, subversive silhouettes allowed the 25-year-old designer to highlight his diverse cast, which blurred gender binaries and championed the non-model. Like he has since the beginning of Barragán, he recruited faces off Instagram and close LGBTQ friends—names like Michael Phillips, and Richie Shazam have long starred in his queer, underdog productions. What Barragán's contemporaries are chasing, he's already well-established.
Photography: Kohl Murdock