Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 February 2020

New York Fashion Week 2020: The Blonds send a model in a wheelchair down the runway

Forget tokenism, this outrageous label just showed us how to really embrace diversity

A model for The Blonds fall winter 2020 show at New York Fashion Week. Reuters
A model for The Blonds fall winter 2020 show at New York Fashion Week. Reuters

Amid all the Oscar brouhaha, it is easy to forget that there's another fashion spectacle is taking place on the other side of America: New York Fashion Week.

While the fall / winter 2020 event itself may be missing it’s big name draws – most notable absences include Ralph Lauren (who will be staging their own extravaganza in April) and Tom Ford (who opted to show in LA in parallel to the Oscars) – that doesn’t mean the week-long event lacks punch.

Case in point: The Blonds show.

Known for staging high-octane, razzamatazz events, filled with big attitude and very small clothes, The Blonds just threw down the gauntlet on inclusivity.

Always a vocal supporter of the outliers of society, for its fall / winter 2020 collection, the brand extended that reach a little further by using a model in a self-powered wheelchair to wear one of its looks. And it wasn’t just any outfit. It was a dazzling, beaded bodysuit with a matching headdress.

Sheer to the point of blush inducing, the look was kept decent solely by the judicious application of embellishment. More important than the decoration, however, was that this fabulous get-up, with its gewgaws and feathers being shown front and centre.

Models walk the runway for The Blonds during New York Fashion Week at Spring Studios on February 09, 2020 in New York City. / AFP / Kena Betancur
The Blonds used a wheelchair-bound model during New York Fashion Week at Spring Studios. AFP

This outfit, with its uplifting over-the-topness (I mean, who is ever going to wear that in New York?) puts the focus back on the person in the wheelchair once more, shattering the cloak of invisibility he or she are sometimes forced to wear. While most of us will probably be in no rush to order it, I for one am delighted that sheer netting and sequins are striking a blow for equality.

Updated: February 10, 2020 03:21 PM

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