The Rainbow Room, a vogue megamix, oversized fur coats, and Teyana Taylor in the front row — it doesn’t get more categorically New York than that. And that’s LaQuan Smith in a nutshell. For Fall/Winter 2023, the Bronx-born designer offered a love letter to the glamour of NYC, as only he could (with caviar and champagne included).
This season, Smith doubled down on his signature sultry high-glam aesthetic, delivering a collection that speaks to the LaQuan Smith woman while simultaneously pushing her forward and introducing menswear right alongside. It was one part 80’s full glam working woman (see; Jourdan Dunn closing the show in a satin skirt suit, with opaque tights and a briefcase in tow) meets an early aughts rap video vixen. And that’s the beauty of LaQuan; he can effortlessly pinpoint specific references while appealing to the public at large. It’s always sexy; it’s always high glam/high luxe but through his distinct lens. Something about this collection felt more in tune with the brand than seasons prior. It was quintessentially a collection of LS (LaQuan Smith) heavy hitters; sheer night-out tops, dresses, and tops with strategically placed cutouts, keyholes, and v-shaped fur, and that signature LaQuan Smith vinyl material.
And while last season’s offering was an exploration of color theory, this season, the palette strayed neutral with blacks, cremes, whites, and the occasional pop of grape purple. This created a moody, almost nightlife essence, which fit perfectly with the show’s venue. The Rainbow Room, an iconoclast of glamour and famed fêtes, acted as a conduit for the collection — with both playing off each other.
The inclusion of menswear was brilliant on LaQuan’s part. The six men’s looks fit perfectly into the brand’s universe. Sheer blouses paired with shits, fur jackets, and coats, suits echoing the cutout motifs of the womenswear, and great satin trousers. Take look 27; supermodel Alton Mason strutted around the ballroom wearing a full-length coat, shirtless paired with leather trousers (a play on the brand’s moto pants introduced a few seasons ago). It was a look that screamed NYC, an homage to hip-hop and its’ long-standing relationship with the opulent oversized “mink.” From Diddy and Mase to Cam’ron and Fab. It’s something only LaQuan can do. This seamless juxtaposition of high-glam yet distinctly in tune with the culture.
From the show mix (full of vogue mixes, a Dynasty voiceover, and an interestingly hilarious jazz standards cover of “My Neck, My Back”) and the trays of champagne to a collection honest to the ethos of the brand, this was a strong season for LaQuan. LaQuan Smith is sexy, is vampy, is high glam, and is still the undisputed king of seductive glamour.
View excerpts of the collection below.