Gogo Graham is an emerging NYC-based fashion designer who has developed a reputation for being the first person to create a collection specifically for trans femmes.
Graham’s most recent 2016 collection saw its debut on Thursday, February 18th, complete with an emotional and raw presentation. Attendees entered the Soho space to the sound of a recorded voice. Over the muddled voices of the crowd we hear that the recording is of different people discussing their experiences with transition and identity (I later learned that the voices are from the models who walked in the show themselves). Notably one model describes a distinct shift in the way men perceive her now. There is a fascination present when she explains how she gets hit on by the same type of men that harassed or bullied her in the past.
Another model highlighted her personal experiences along with her concern and praise for transgender lives and the acknowledgement of the hardships that go hand in hand with just wanting to be yourself.
It is clear that the transgender experience is at the forefront of Graham’s work.
The lights go down, then rise again along with Graham’s first model. What we witness is an evolution that begins with a semi-structured look and continually breaks down as we move through the collection. Model’s eyes bleed black, then red, and then multiple colors. Bodies become slightly splattered with blood and then become completely covered, to the point of oozing from the mouth. Not only an aesthetic evolution, but each model walks with a different attitude that leads the viewer to join Graham in a procession of the internal. We go from stoic, to increasingly confident, to disrupted, and back again.
Not only does Graham focus on the discussion of transition audibly, but represents one as well.