Sometimes in fashion, you get to witness something so special that it actually moves you. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, you walk away feeling like you got to be part of A Moment — a genuine one, not one engineered for maximum social media exposure.
That was the case at 11 Honoré's first-ever runway show on Wednesday evening. The plus-size luxury retailer put on a fashion show featuring several of the designers who have hopped on board with the company's mission to make the industry a more diverse place, and from the moment the lights went down and Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams" started playing, it was clear this show was going to be different than most runways.
First, there was the cheering, which came loud and plentiful. Cheering for looks, cheering for friends on the runway, cheering just because it was nice to see a diverse range of bodies on a catwalk. Plus models strutted their stuff in all kinds of stunning, capital-F Fashion: Silky pants with slits up the side, body-hugging cocktail dresses with cleavage-baring tops, sequin bomber jackets and flowing floral gowns. And all the looks were shoppable, thanks to a partnership with Shopify. (Shopbop partnered with the retailer, too, providing the accessories, a category 11 Honoré has yet to enter.) All of this would have been special enough on its own, a beautiful moment to start New York Fashion Week.
But then! Then, Laverne Cox emerged to the opening sounds of Robyn's "Honey," and 11 Honoré's show went from being a moment to becoming A Moment. Wearing an absolute confection of a gown — bright-pink, with hundreds of layers of pink and red tulle — Cox twirled, played with the fabric of her dress, posed for the camera, vamped for the audience and generally just brought the entire house down. It was a runway walk to beat all other runway walks; it was, to be frank, fucking fierce.
As Cox took her final turn on the catwalk, accompanied by all the other models under a shower of silver confetti, I felt truly emotional. It had been a beautiful, diverse runway packed with inspiring women in clothes I could actually see myself in for once — because I was seeing women who looked like me in them. The mood in the room was joyous and celebratory; no one seemed bored or looking to bolt out of the door the second the models left the runway.
If I could have frozen that moment in time — watching Laverne Cox and an army of beautiful women storm a runway, glitter falling from the ceiling, surrounded by cheers and applause — I would do it in a heartbeat. This is what fashion should be.
See the complete 11 Honoré runway show below: