Samantha Angelo, Pyer Moss, Womanswear, NYFW, SS16, Orange Hair, Fashion Blog, Fashion Blogger, NYFW, Fashion Week, NYC

Here is the story behind the photo above that I posted on Instagram:

On Thursday I was invited to the Pyer Moss runway show on behalf of Project Cobalt and was granted backstage access, to get photos and interviews for the blog. As I arrived backstage, all of a sudden I was approached by the runway director—who in a furry of excitement, just moments before the show started—requested that I must model in the show!! The next thing I knew I was being whisked away, disrobed, de-jeweled, hair combed, makeup painted and re-clothed by a team of people moving at the speed of light. I sprinted into position with the other models and just like that I was on the other side of Fashion Week. My NYFW runway debut.

I fell head over heels for that energy that you feel backstage before a fashion show when I walked for Christian Siriano in 2012 at Pink Rocks The Runway in Washington, DC. I love the chaos, the process, the art of being made up. The fantasy behind bringing a designers dream and imagination to life. Not to mention the juxtaposition of running wild and rushing as fast as humanly possible—to being completely composed, cool, unfazed and perfectly in tempo. I realized standing backstage that I have missed that feeling of being a part of a group since leaving the Marine Band a little over a year ago. Getting ready to walk out I felt totally comfortable and at home. I was part of a group again for the night and it felt nostalgic. I would march two steps behind the person in front of me with fierce militant movements, something I am well versed in after 8 years under the most extreme of pressure, accustomed to performing in the company of presidents, world leaders and dignitaries. Military to fashion industry, a much more natural transition than one might think! In a way that was my perfect performance scenario: No audition, no rehearsal, no waiting around—just get ready and go. And I was able to do it completely on my terms, orange hair and all. I am forever thankful for that truly unique and memorable NYFW experience.

I wasn’t until after the show that I learned more about the designer and the profound topic woven throughout the collection. Kerby Jean-Raymond, the designer behind Pyer Moss (pronounced Pierre) has been known as a menswear brand until this week when he debuted his womenswear collection. Yet the show conveyed a message beyond fashion design, Jean-Raymond created a video compilation based on the recent (and on going) controversy facing this country of police brutality and racism. Jean-Raymond wanted to use this platform and a captive audience to open a discussion within the fashion community and beyond, to reiterate, black lives matter.  And after this weeks latest news of tennis champion James Blake being assaulted by police officers and Jean-Raymond’s own experience of having police guns drawn on him in NYC, this topic continues to be a compelling, challenging and difficult one.

Samantha Angelo, Pyer Moss, Womanswear, NYFW, SS16, Orange Hair, Fashion Blog, Fashion Blogger, Fashion WeekSamantha Angelo, Pyer Moss, Womanswear, NYFW, SS16, Orange Hair, Fashion Blog, Fashion BloggerSamantha Angelo, Pyer Moss, Womanswear, NYFW, SS16, Orange Hair, Fashion Blog, Fashion BloggerPyer Moss, The Cut, NYFW, Samantha Angelo, Model

Photo credit: The Cut by Alessandro Lucioni

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