Namilia Leaves Stereotypes in the Dust

Namilia FW17 shot by Natalie Black
Backstage at Namilia FW17 shot by Natalie Black

Namilia’s F/W 2017 Runway manifesto says “UNTOUCHABLE. UNFLUSHABLE. UNCRUSHABLE.”, a perfect expression for the look and feel of this motocross inspired sportswear-meets-apocalyptic-anarchist-femme-warrior-queen-haute couture line. This year, Namilia turned the phrase “power dressing”– aka for a woman to dress like a man to appear more powerful– completely on it’s head.

The first thing to notice about this line is the vibrant nearly neon red, green, silver, gold, and camouflage palette used not only with the clothing but also with the models’ faces and body makeup. They wear makeup reminiscent of mud splashes, but instead of being brown, they are colorful, bright, and all over their face and body. Models also donned oversized sunglasses and platform lace up shoes.

A number pieces in this collection are reminiscent of sportswear and ordinary womenswear but only in silhouette. Nothing is traditional about this line. Upon closer inspection, you can see the brightly colored nylon pants with large print are actually a mix between a bikini and chaps. A regular mini dress will have an 8 foot long train of twin flags with a bold ‘Namilia’ printed in black and white on the facade of it. A typical bikini top actually has cups made of playful gold and silver bedazzled penises. Moto jackets and jumpsuits had other rhinestoned messages like “Untouchable” or “Ready for the Trumpocalypse” embellished across the breast and down the arms. Two looks that got audible gasps were two daring silver and green gowns with bustiers and mermaid tails, one of which only made it about 3 feet down the runway before going back.

Namilia FW17 shot by Natalie Black
Namilia FW17 shot by Natalie Black

The duo took the inspiration of a traditionally masculine extreme sport and traditionally masculine lines and threw them out of the window. Everything that hit the runway was complementary to the overall theme and energy of the show while being flexible and amusing. It let you know that women will not be either oversexualized or invisible, no matter what they are wearing. Staying close to their influence and using so many nifty details like the rhinestones and the sculpted flames and flags, these looks became a flashy, post apocalyptic, unapologetic, cyberpunk goddess line. It is also clear that the designs throughout grew to become a non-binary exploration of gender and power, using women’s bodies as the canvas. This collection was not afraid to get into the nitty gritty of fashion, art, politics, and culture, burning down old notions and stereotypes with each look.

Review by Azalea Fairley, photography by Natalie Black.


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