POSTPONED: Not even Mother Nature can stop Kerby Jean-Raymond from making history with his first Pyer Moss couture collection livestreaming as part of Paris Couture Week.
After three rain-soaked hours Thursday afternoon at Villa Lewaro in leafy Irvington, N.Y., the first Black designer to be asked to join the couture calendar called it off — for now.
But the show will go on — Saturday — at the historic 1918 estate of Madam C.J. Walker, hair care magnate, activist, entrepreneur, and the first Black female millionaire in the U.S.
The audience, including A$AP Ferg, Justine Skye, Kay Unger, Bethann Hardison and Sundial Brands chief executive officer Richelieu Dennis, hung in for three false starts outside the Italian Renaissance-style home, watching the circular runway wiped down between downpours.
“I love Kerby and I was dying to see this estate,” said Tracee Ellis Ross, wearing a Pyer Moss top and pants. “Madam C.J. Walker was one of my icons in my journey to starting my hair care line Pattern. Figuring out how to merge these things is how we bring the legacy forward,” she said of Jean-Raymond’s ability to create teaching moments by mixing past and present.
“It’s 100 percent going to be OK,” the designer said backstage, handing out a few treats (weed) to ease the pain of the downpours.
At one point, the show came close to starting. Elaine Brown, the last surviving leadership member of the Black Panthers, took to the runway with an umbrella fella. The legendary activist spoke passionately about racial justice, shared poetry and song. “The liberation of Black people has been flickering,” she told the crowd. “We need to get back on the freedom train.”
Then came the rain again. “It’s just a little too heavy,” said Jean-Raymond, taking the stage in front of the columned entrance to the mansion. “Thank you so much for waiting for me…I wish I could reciprocate the love right now.”
At around 5:15 p.m., when the downpour refused to stop, the photographers started packing up. The federation will make a formal announcement Friday that it is extending couture week until Saturday so Pyer Moss can close it out officially.
To be continued…
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