Article and Photos by Jovanna Reyes
The Gypsy Sport runway show was the second time I was in Gallery One in Skylight Clarkson Square. It was dark and extremely hot in the photographers pit. It didn’t help that I was wearing a fuzzy black sweater I couldn’t remove. I was standing next to photographers that were just as sweaty and pushy. I share that so you could understand how miserable I was until the show started. My misery was quickly forgotten.
Designer, Rio Uribe, started the show with an introduction to his collection. His travels to Europe, Mexico and Los Angeles with their overwhelming problems of homelessness influenced his collection. Once the drumming began, two young street performers using drum sticks and plastic paint containers, I was entranced.
I knew what was coming and I wasn’t disappointed. At one point, I found myself looking over my camera just to take it all in with my natural eye. It was jarring, refreshing and what is desperately needed in the fashion community. A designer that embraces where he came from and refuses to sell his soul and artistic base for the masses. The European photographer next to me kept yelling “bravo” from the pit, loving each and every unexpected look on the runway.
His model lineup were of varied backgrounds and represented gender without barriers. There was fluidity and ease in his representation. There were crocheted dresses that reminded me of Latina grandmas table covers. Pink camouflage, lace, traditional pinstripe, velvet and the most haunting for me, a model draped like a Shaolin monk.
His outerwear replicated the tents of European refugees and the makeshift structures created by the homeless on L.A. streets. He finished the show with “EXPLOITED” AND “the BUSINESS” patches on the backs of his final two garments.
Rio won’t let you turn away and ignore them anymore. Bravo Rio…Bravo!