Jean-Raymond’s Pyer Moss Fall 2021 Haute Couture collection was a tribute to 25 Black inventions drawn from an extensive list at the Library of Congress. To bring the ambitious concept to life, he set up camp temporarily in a spacious studio in Westlake, Los Angeles, enlisting the help of Hollywood fabricators and costume designers. “I didn’t want to do this like a regular collection, I wanted to do this like Sesame Street and Pixar,” he said.
Made from hundreds of tightly wrapped hair rollers, the first look was a fitting tribute to the original lady of the manor, beauty mogul CJ Walker, who is famous for being America’s first female self-made millionaire. Mostly though, the inventions that Jean-Raymond chose to celebrate spoke to his lived experiences: a fire escape, the only outdoor space space he knew growing up in Flatbush, Brooklyn; the cellphone he remembers his father carrying in the 1990s; childhood treats like a sprinkle-covered ice cream cone.
Some of the larger-than-life, tongue-in-cheek flourishes called to mind an aesthetic first proposed by fashion renegades like Jeremy Scott and Jean-Charles de Castelbajac before him. Ultimately though it was the more subtle looks in the lineup that held the most sway, including the typewriter look that was fastened with a belt of typewriter keys and paperwork at the waist and a ruched lilac dress topped with a towering lampshade-inspired hat.