Recipient of this year’s Cooper Hewitt National Design award for Fashion Design, Willy Chavarria‘s place among established fashion designers grows stronger with each passing season.
For Spring/Summer 2023, the Mexican-American designer brought his entire tribe to the historic Marble Collegiate Church (founded in 1628), one of the oldest continuous Protestant congregations in North America, to present a collection that standed out as his most elevated and extensive to date.
With the famed Madonna, who is no stranger to religious controversy, seated in the front row, and with a beautiful song performed a cappella in Spanish by Dorian Wood about the way borders keep us separated – “The song is about the divide in our world,” Chavarria explained – the collection by Calvin Klein’s senior vice president of design paraded through strange and very bold proportions where the religion was almost omnipresent. “Because I was raised Catholic, I have a strong belief that good overpowers evil, and I do feel like there is a loss of God in the world,” Chavarria explained about the choice of location and those influences in his collection.
Shirts with exaggerated collars, pants with ultra-wide legs, oversized baggy shorts offered in several materials and textures, fitted blazers with strong and imposing shoulders, oversized coat worn with a short poncho with a collar and gigot sleeves that recalls the garment of a clergy or t-shirt with a “Catechism” print.
Willy Chavarria also reserved part of the collection for athletic apparel, placing varsity-styled font logos of “Fresno” and “Sacramento” on football jerseys, in a nod to his hometown of Fresno, California. He also unveiled collaborations with Dickies, FB County and Pro Club, expanding and developing his specific and all-encompassing magic and aesthetic.