Since our very first show, Opening Ceremony has participated in fashion week as a platform to express ideas. This year, no ideas are as critical as the ones our country will consider on election day. Our Fall II & Winter 2016 show is a tribute to the American democratic process, and the diversity of those who participate in it.
On the surface, fashion has little to do with politics. Yet when we get dressed, we make decisions about which aspects of ourselves to present to the world. When we asked our friends about the issues that matter to them, detailed in the following pages—immigration, economic inequality, police brutality, and gender discrimination, among others—we were struck by how many of them hinged on the ability to express one’s identity freely. “Being American,” Sarah mcbride tells us on page 19, “means having the freedom to live openly and authentically as the person you know yourself to be.”
When we founded Opening Ceremony 14 years ago, we were inspired by the Olympics, and its ability to foster cultural exchange. Tonight’s show returns to the theme. It takes the form of a pageant. pageants are known for enforcing traditional beauty standards, but our “Pageant of the People” subverts this norm. Inspired by the american immigrant experience, it is a space where unconventional beauty—and ideas—are celebrated.
Tonight’s pageant has no judges. We invite you to cast a ballot at the polls on November 8th.
Carol Lim & Humberto Leon