Kerby-Jean Raymond’s Pyer Moss label has unveiled its first-ever couture collection and, in the process, made Raymond the first Black American designer to show a couture collection as a guest designer via the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.
The “WAT U IZ” collection pays tribute to Black inventions, like hot rollers, a chess board and a refrigerator that reads “BUT WHO INVENTED BLACK TRAUMA?” All looks offer surrealist interpretations of the items, which you can see below.
During a show held at Villa Lewardo in Irvington, NY last week, at the estate that belongs to the first female self-made millionaire in the U.S. Madam C.J. Walker, who a release says “was community-made in the finest of ways,” the reveal took on some additional significance. Former Black Panther chairwoman and activist Elaine Brown opened the show before models came out to a performance by 22GZ and a live orchestra.
“The stories the world tells us about us are about pain,” a release reads. “The stories we tell about each other about our own lives are about how grandma loved us with bible verses and lemonade, how bloodlines never defined who our aunts and uncles were, how the house was always big enough to take in everybody we loved. We hold stories of glory in our bodies. Black imagination is this world’s greatest technology.”
Check out some of the looks below.