THE BLONDS CLOSE OUT NYFW F/W ‘22 WITH GLITZ, GLAMOR, AND A PERFORMANCE TO DIE-FOR
Design duo Phillipe and David Blond closed out the week of fashion alongside superstar choreographer Parris Goebel, who spoke with V exclusively about her experience coming to NYFW
New York-based label The Blonds closed out NYFW Fall / Winter 2022 in grand style… as is The Blonds’ way.
After a slew of shows this month which proved that, yes, the return of fashion to its home base of New York City is indeed underway (despite some major shows canceling prior due to COVID scares), The Blonds runway—filled with sequins and heavy metal appliques and skin-tight mesh and shiny pleather pants—was the cherry on top of a bumping week. As celebs like Adam Lambert, Ava Max, Candace Bushnell, Pat Fields, and Miss J Alexander took their seats, the lights dimmed and the Spring Studios catwalk lit up for the show’s opener: Phillipe Blond himself, of course, in a glittering, spiked catsuit and matching cape that billowed out behind the designer, as if welcoming in the incoming models.
Known as the go-to brand for A-list talent like Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, Nicki Minaj, and Katy Perry to wear while performing in front of thousands of crazed fans, The Blonds have successfully cemented themselves as a staple of NYFW. This season, in a nod to the macabre, The Blonds’ runway was an affair fit for the fabulously undead—clearly inspired by works like Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and the Blade franchise, the clothing was sexy and fun as ever, yet perhaps more subtle and dark than previous collections (hard to ascribe ‘subtle’ to The Blonds, but here we are). Black lace red carpet-ready gowns dripping in ruby-red fringe gemstones appeared alongside printed spiked tracksuits and weekend bags, while velvet mini dresses in reds and blacks with hi-shine spiked shoulder pads wowed the crowd.
Standout pieces include, but are not limited to: ALL of the specially made Louboutin x The Blonds footwear; ALL of the black and blood-red capes; a luxe, armor-like bustier with oversized jeweled crosses; an Æon Flux-worthy leather cut-out bodysuit with sculptural cross-shoulder jewels; a mirrored bodice and matching pants and platforms; a deep vermilion sheer catsuit; and the grande finale, a trio of red, white, and black tulle sisters in matching leather boots. Spikes, often a calling card of The Blonds, has made its grand reappearance, either in 3D form or as screen-printed onto hoodies, sweatpants, and T-shirts. Once again, Motorola has helped fund this season of The Blonds, and the design duo have weaved the company’s Razr colors—Liquid Mercury, Blush Gold, and Polished Graphite—into the collection itself (the dark jewel tones lend themselves well to the rave vampires-in-New York theme).
To top off the night, superstar New Zealand choreographer and model Parris Goebel—who choreographed Rihanna’s 2019 Savage X Fenty Show as well as Jennifer Lopez’s 2020 Super Bowl halftime show—emerged onto the runway in a Razr-inspired couture corset, latex pants and arm warmers, and chunky golden platforms. True to form, she began a performance for the buzzing audience, like none this editor has seen in quite some time. Quickly joined by two other New Zealand-native backup dancers with similarly long braided ponytails, the dance down the catwalk which Goebel created for The Blonds was one of the most exhilarating moments of NYFW Fall / Winter 2022. And to say that the music was good (thumping rave tunes and gay-club beats), would be an understatement.
“This season, it felt like there was magic in the air. It was about The Matrix meets Grace Jones meets Blade meets Motorola meets The Blonds,” Phillippe Blond told V breathlessly backstage, just moments after the show had concluded. “And tonight turned out to be a fucking full moon, too! Magic.”
Normally worn by performance artists all over the world, The Blonds are also aware of how lucky they have been to continue their successful run even through the hundreds of canceled concerts and global tours.
“Everything fizzled,” David Blond admits, “but what was insane is that even though things were not happening, people were still preparing for what was to come. Stars were getting ready to go back out there, so we’d help them get their looks together in anticipation. And people would have these bubble parties, where it would just be their friends, but they still wanted to dress up. People want to be fabulous, even in private. And I think our brand is a very hopeful one. That helps.”
Goebel, whose dancing brought thunderous applause to the proceedings, thoroughly enjoyed closing NYFW, as she spoke exclusively with V backstage after the show.
“Two years ago, I came to New York for the first time for fashion week,” she says, sipping a can of Perrier and ignoring the barrage of incoming texts on her phone from congratulatory friends and family, which sits on the table next to her. “And I got to sit in the front row for The Blonds back then. It was easily my favorite show, and I always hoped I’d be doing something like this… and now I’ve done it!”
Aside from the obvious glitz and glam of her tremendous moment closing out NYFW, Goebel is also doing this for representation’s sake.
“I’ve always wanted to walk NYFW since I was a little girl,” she shares. “I’m from Auckland, New Zealand, so this is all really far away from me. Even being in New York is really surreal. So, to be able to be featured in a show, and not just walk, but to be able to dance and be myself, is a dream come true. And it’s not just for myself, it’s for my country, for my people. I’m a Polynesian woman, and I’m trying to use my voice more in the fashion space because I never saw girls who look like me growing up. As a Pacific Islander woman, this is a huge deal, and I love The Blonds for that.”