Fashion remains a labor of love for uptown upstart, LaQuan Smith. This love is not just his own for his craft, but that of his family’s for him and his immense talents. As we headed up to his presentation at the Hudson Hotel, we got all gushy over the sight of a big burly man Read more →
LaQuan Smith, one of our 15 designers to watch, holds a special place in my heart. I met the 22-year-old designer last year when he was working up to 19 hours a day out of his tiny bedroom in his grandparent’s house in Queens to prepare for his first show. He’s scrappy and works his ass off and he couldn’t be more humble about his success (he’s dressed Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys, and Rihanna).
Yesterday, like last season, LaQuan presented his show retro-style: Guests were seated at round tables (this time in a suite at the Peninsula Hotel), and models sashayed about the room pausing at each table to strike a pose. Only this season, as evidenced by the celeb-packed room, buzz has built around this young designer. While Andre Leon Talley has supported LaQuan since the beginning, for his second show, Talley brought along Diane von Furstenberg. Sandra Bernhard and Common were there (not together), and Serena Williams closed the show (maybe she is back with Common?).
LaQuan’s show was a nice break from the typical runway show. Instead of the standard issue vacant stare, his models engaged with the audience, even flirting with them, eliciting tickled shrieks from ALT himself. They actually looked like they were, gasp, having fun.