Brandon Maxwell’s Elegant and Emotional Fall 2019 Fashion Show

by Aria Darcella
Brandon Maxwell

Brandon Maxwell presented his Fall 2019 collection with an intimate show at the Penn Plaza Pavilion in Midtown Manhattan. Fans of Maxwell’s work will be thrilled that the designer continued to build on his brand’s defining aesthetic — streamlined silhouettes with nipped in waists, which paraded down the runway in a monochromatic color palate with pops of neon green and candy apple red. That is not to say Maxwell didn’t shake things up. Though he has long favored fit and tailoring over flashy prints and embellishment, this season he dressed things up a bit with subtle details like zippers and fringe.

Prior to the show Maxwell invited guests to enjoy champagne and chicken wings — an apt metaphor for the designer himself, who’s high-end work is balanced by his down-to-earth personality. “I got here on the later side and everyone ate [the chicken wings] already,” joked model Grace Elizabeth. “Nobody saved one for me! I’m gonna have to go to Hooters tonight to get some!” This was Elizabeth’s second season walking for the designer, and the two have clearly clicked. “We really connected,” she said. “We’re both from the South and he’s so engaged with his family and I am too. I don’t think there’s a better soul out there.”

The moment guests will likely remember best is when Maxwell took his final bow arm-in-arm with his mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer after last season’s show. Fall ’19 was dedicated to her. “We had a cry afterwards,” he said following the show. “It will be a moment I’ll have for the rest of my life.”

The Daily also caught up with Maxwell backstage, where he spoke with Eddie Roche while drinking wine from a sippy cup. 

The show was very intimate. Why did you want to do it in this kind of space?
There was a loudness and a chaos in the last couple months of my life and I was yearning for calm and quiet intimacy. I’m going to be on TV [in the Project Runway reboot on Bravo] in a couple of months and I really wanted to keep it small and go back to square one. 

Are you worried about getting recognized by being on TV?
Not at all. I don’t worry about those kinds of things… I also don’t think I’m somebody that people will pick up on the street. 

Your show started with several women of color. Was that intentional?
I cast the show and do the lineup in the same way that I’ve done every lineup since I’ve started. I ask myself who I think is gorgeous in the casting. You do a lineup as your eyes likes. 

Let’s talk about this collection. What were you thinking?
So many women find themselves in moments where they are watched. What do you do with that? How do you stand up and put your shoulders back and rise to that occasion? I’m surrounded by those women every day in my office, my mom is that person, my sisters, my stepmom. I saw that strength in my mom. It’s a lot. So many of the woman I know in my life are just real American woman who get up and do the damn thing every day and don’t ask for anything. I always want to be a safe space for those women. 

Check out the rest of the collection below.

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