Conga drums echoed through the room as an epilogue to Theophilios Spring 2023 “Homecoming” runway. They transported attendees far from the New York City sounds of relentless car horns before the show opened with a colorful ensemble: a satiny, sky-blue shirt paired with a daisy-yellow miniskirt.
The music intensified as models went wild in colors and fabrics that were anything but boring. The next look was a shiny leopard jacket with snakeskin pants. In his second New York Fashion Week presentation, the Brooklyn-based designer and CFDA’s 2021 New designer of the year Edvin Thompson played with color, texture, iconography and silhouette. The result is incredibly generative.
Thompson tells a story of place and time.
In addition to their appeal, the look feels new and dynamic. Theophilio debuted two-tone, silhouette-changing leather pants in green, red and yellow, the colors of Jamaica. Cropped, rhinestone-embellished “I <3 TP" shirts dazzled down the runway, recalling the city's sensibilities and the iconic "New York" version. Ruffle details on jeans animated a walk. Oversized suits brought drama. A bikini top and regal headdress, inspired by the West Indian carnival festival J'ouvert, drew unyielding attention, gasps and applause.
The show not only transported its viewers visually and aurally, but also temporally. The peculiar newsboy hats – enlarged, reimagined in unexpected colors and worn in different directions – caught my eye and are still in my mind as a must-have for next spring. Mini skirts, sequins and graphic t-shirts took us back to the 2000s, perfectly aligned with the latest The year 2000 trend has resurfaced.
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“There’s a big trend of Y2K fashion right now, but I think it’s also because that time was full of creativity, and I’m just happy to be a part of it coming back,” said he in one interview with Vogue. “It’s New York that’s bringing it back; that energy has to be lasting and saturating.”
When he won the CFDA award, Thompson held a speech said he “spoke to you all as still this young boy of dirt roads, blue lagoons, sunny skies and farm food – Kingston, Jamaica.” From the first look to the final, the colors of the home and this essence are infused in the spring 2023 collection.
Crafted to honor its roots, Theophilio’s Spring 2023 offering sends a love letter to Jamaica and to the aesthetic of two decades ago, staying true to the designer’s language while reinventing motifs and adding richness. As one of New York’s most vibrant fashion design talents, we’re not alone in our excitement for what a fiery collection is coming from him.
View the entire Theophilio Spring 2023 collection in the gallery below.