LORDELE Takes On Collective Nature & Sustainability

LORDELE Takes On Collective Nature & Sustainability

Designer Nay Campbell transports their new collection LORDELE 003 into the junkyard.

Designer Nay Campbell transports their new collection LORDELE 003 into the junkyard.

Text: Chloe Laguette

For the third collection of LORDELE, Beyond the Valley, designer Nay Campbell chose a junkyard across the street from McKibbin lofts in Bushwick to host the show. Nay played around with existential ideas about our digital reality when drawing up inspiration for the collection. "Do we actually care about each other and progress? Or is Instagram creating a facade?" they said.

Nay said that most inspiration grew from the aspects of American culture that are actually 'killing' us, like the pink skies of LA that result from smog. "Like glamour, the things that we love but are actually deteriorating us," they said. The collection's stylist, Kristi Kruser, has educated Nay over the past year on sustainability, which inspired more of a larger message of caring for Mother Earth but also taking more considerations of the people who inhabit it.

The models in the show each wore a look based on a given role— the juxtaposition of a pop star and a politician, versus a farmer and a schoolteacher. "One (pop star, politician) is regarded in a different way than the other (farmer, school teacher) and one has more respect and money than the other," Nay said. These characters represent how our society loves glamour but we also love relatability.

"Secretly, I've always wanted to do a collection in a junkyard," said Nay. But they doubted people would actually attend due to its grotesque nature. However, when they came across the space— a recycling plant with a warehouse vibe, it seemed fitting.

"It was very much my aesthetic, I'm very inspired by American culture in the sense of like what we all created," Nay said. "Like pop music, movies, the relationships we have between one another, that comes from every single person. At the end of the day, black trans women started most of this shit, we owe them an arm and a leg, but at the end of the day we all contribute to this larger message."

Other inspirations grew from watching old movies they've seen before, such as Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, (hence the name) Chinatown, Russ Meyer films, Jack Nicholson films. There's a scene in Chinatown where they discover politicians in California are dumping toxins into the water, and one of the characters asks "What's Beyond the Valley?" which got Nay thinking a little more closely into the collection's overall theme.

Nay incorporated Andy Warhol's pop art on to yellow stiletto boots but dove deeper into the foundation of the artist's legacy. "Not just Warhol but the people who he copped from, like the trinity of Holly, Candy, and Edie, Bridget, all of these really cool strong women that inspired him to make the art that he did," Nay said. "A lot of people don't know about these women, and the trans women, like Marsha P Johnson, was lowkey a Warhol superstar. The masses don't know about these smaller storylines of the Warhol storyline."

Nay claims that one cannot truly catch the essence of Warhol as an artist without knowing the others of his foundation, which they also trace back to everyone in our society in general. "As you meet people, you begin to realize, oh you're actually like your mother, or your babysitter, mixed with like, me, and everyone is a manifestation of other people."

Given the variety of cultural icons and environmental issues that gave birth to what was this season of LORDELE, the fact that we are all connected is the root of inspiration for Nay.

See photos of the collection below.

Credits: Photo credits to Donal Tabot Casting by Joseph Viola Styled by Kristi Kruser

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