Sadly, LaQuan Smith did not send any plastic cheetah print dresses, cowboy hats, or g-strings down the runway this season. No matter, because luxe bodysuits, billowing quilted jackets, and hoe bags will definitely suffice!
LaQuan Smith is not for everyone. If you do not wish to dress like a hot, exceedingly rich bitch, then it’s best to look elsewhere. But for those who still suckle at the altar of Matrix-like trench coats draped over body-hugging catsuits, or impossibly small mini skirts, then Smith has you covered. For much of the collection, Smith interpolates the now-trendy mini skirt and puffer jacket combo, which have also popped up in similar variations on Balenciaga and Versace catwalks. (Although, the approaches couldn’t be more different, considering the vast difference in clientele.)
But the beauty of LaQuan Smith is his deep understanding of the market for which he designs. These are clothes for Instagram-obsessed supermodels and influencers who can’t wait to squat on dirty New York City and Paris sidewalks wearing these looks. (Probably paired with some tiny sunglasses, too.) And this isn’t necessarily a criticism of LaQuan, but instead, a celebration of the fact that at least one designer this season knows the customer base he is attempting to clothe. Much more prestigious brands, with much more prestigious creative directors like Saint Laurent, have yet to achieve similar success in that regard.
Quilted jackets (and now, skirts) are also becoming more common on the runway, specifically in New York, but LaQuan has imagined some fun ways to play with the medium. In multiple pieces, the technique is used to render a crocodile-like texture from the fabrics, which has grown in popularity alongside snakeskin. There’s also a play on nylon pants I would probably never take off, given the opportunity. Anything for a baggy, sexy sweatpant!
Unfortunately, puffer-like high heel boots seem a bit too Dolls Kill-adjacent to feel too innovative here. Similar designs have also been made popular by other fast fashion brands, like Fashion Nova and AliExpress wholesale stores. But perhaps this speaks more to Smith’s understanding of what his customers want, which might be more of the same! Still, though, in an industry as wasteful as fashion, it’s a bit hard to overlook the recycling of trends rather than envisioning what could be.
Also, Fashion Week is normally a hostile space for women who are not the highly criticized sample size; Smith has some taken amount of care to scout a plus-size model—just one!—to showcase one of the more revealing designs. But one look out of 43 outfits is still not enough to paper over the very specific body type for whom Smith designs. Also, to note: the model is not in a bodysuit like the others, but a midi-dress with far fewer cutouts. Why not a bodysuit? I’d like to see it!
Still, I can’t help but lust after these clothes, even if they stretch a bit too much over my larger-than-sample-size proportions. At the least, I could go the route most other designers and stylists go, and find one of those oversized jackets or voluminous pants to bop around in, praying that one day I too can fuck around in some hot, rich bitch clothing like LaQuan Smith’s!