A gaggle of fashion models meddled around in the mud during the debut of designer Elena Velez’s much anticipated “The Longhouse” collection at New York Fashion Week on Tuesday.
A video posted to social media shows over a dozen models dressed in white linen and other elegant outerwear wrestling, snuggling and straddling each other while rolling around in a mud pit in the middle of a Brooklyn warehouse, according to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD.)
— Vanessa Friedman (@VVFriedman) September 13, 2023
The mud pit was meant to serve as a runway, with the models representing “anti-heroines,” according to Velez, per WWD. (RELATED: Kamala’s Stepdaughter Was Quite The Surprise At New York Fashion Week)
“We have lost touch with our gift and responsibility to paint a truthful and beautiful picture of our times,” Velez said in her manifesto, according to WWD. “It feels to me like the sanitization and unilateralization of womanhood in popular culture today leaves no room for the nuance and multiplicity we deserve as architects of labyrinthine interior lives,” the 28-year-old rising fashion star concluded.
Velez has made a name for herself as a controversial figure in the fashion world. She stirred up some controversy in August after announcing her models would not be paid in money but rather in exposure on Twitter, Vogue reported.
The Parsons School of Design graduate called her show a “ritualistic catharsis to the coddling, histrionic, and moralistic ills of oversocialization,” and said the show was a response to a “climate of post-progressivism where resistance to a monolithic cultural paradigm is intensifying,” Vogue reported.
This response prompted Vogue to call her “post-woke,” noting a male attendee of the show said, “it kinda turned me on.”