Christopher John Rogers Brings the Right Kind of Drama to NYFW

by Freya Drohan

The category is: “Heirlooms!” New York Fashion Week’s buzziest new designer Christopher John Rogers endeavored to create fashion that stands the test of time and looks expensive to boot.

Instagram Stories showed hoards of people — editors and influencers alike — lining up to enter Spring Studios ahead of the newcomer’s primetime Saturday night show, which was unanimously deemed the ticket of the season.

It’s hard to imagine that the designer in question had, up until recently, been crafting his garments in the living room of his Bushwick home. Thanks to a monetary injection after winning the Vogue/CFDA Fashion Fund, Rogers and his team upped sticks and relocated to a new studio in Soho. Evidently, that’s where the magic has been happening in the lead-up to his second-ever runway show this weekend.

Rogers’ creations were imbued with references as disparate as French cinematic clowns and crumpled garbage bags in vividly saturated hues. At a mere 26-year-old, his world class talent was evident in the execution of ruffled bibs, hand-stitched suiting, leg of mutton sleeves, and his now signature ‘strawberry-shaped’ waists.

“These clothes are expensive, and they should look expensive,” Rogers explained backstage. “I’m trying to make clothes that are heirlooms that even I can’t afford, but maybe when I’m 40 or 50 I’ll be able to. It’s not about the now, but it’s very much about the future.”

Thanks to a playlist that encompassed house and disco classics (Annie Lennox!) and gowns that offered movement that could have set off the Richter scale, it was difficult not to draw parallels to the scenes of ballroom drama made famous by Pose. The teal silk taffeta number (which you’ve probably already seen on Instagram) is crying out for a red carpet moment, and no doubt one of Rogers’ high profile clientele — Rihanna or Gaga, we’re looking at you — will oblige.


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