Edwing D’Angelo Fall/Winter 2021: We’re gonna win

There’s a war going on, and Edwing d’Angelo wants to suit you up. The designer sent an army of stone-faced models clomping down the runway, girded for battle in military-inspired pieces. Camouflage print anchors the collection, appearing on everything from fatigues to bodysuits to flamenco skirts. Waxy synthetics recall parachutes and emergency vests.

photo by Frank Rivers for Edwing D’Angelo

That emergency? Take your pick: geopolitical brinkmanship, the scramble for resources, a dying planet – the Colombian-born designer engages it all with jittery despair. Torsos are lashed and bound, breastbones bared, shoulders rendered vulnerable by their very padding. A woolen blanket dashiki leaves ribs exposed. Shades of peat and loam are punched through with blood orange on jackets, high-waisted pants, even on the crotch-ruffle of a bodycon minidress. The effect is a grimace passing for a smile, a scream pitched higher than the party track you play at top volume to drown your fears.

photo by Frank Rivers for Edwing D’Angelo

Blessedly, all this defiance turns out to be in service of hope. The show closes with a trio of stunning balloon ensembles in black, red and green respectively, each with pneumatic wings that seem to soar above the battlefield in triumph. The world might be at war, these garments say, but if we stay focused, we’re gonna win.

The designer himself is clearly driven by a calculated hope. Not only was this show presented on the sidewalk in front of his own Harlem store, which opened in 2019 against the tide of brick-and-mortar closures, but it is season-on-season.

“Why would I design a collection for my own atelier that I wouldn’t have available to my clients for six months?” he says. “Times are changing, and they are also unpredictable.”


Photos: Edwing D’Angelo Fall/Winter 2021
all photos by Frank Rivers for Edwing D’Angelo