Harris Reed Celebrates the Beauty of Gender Fluidity

Photo credit: Marc Hibbert / Courtesy of Harris Reed

Harris Reed never does anything by half measures. The London-based British-American designer outfitted Harry Styles with a world tour’s worth of lamé pussy-bow blouse while still a student at Central Saint Martins and had his graduate collection picked up by Matchesfashion. In 2021, just a year out of school, he won the Met Gala red carpet with gilded feather cage skirt and bespoke matching headpiece he created for Iman in collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana, designed a capsule collection for Etro, and was named a Leader of Change at the British Fashion Awards.

So it was perhaps unsurprising that Reed’s second-ever runway show—a breathtaking ode to the beauty of gender fluidity that opened London Fashion Week—featured a surprise musical performance by Sam Smith. Getting a Grammy-winning recording artist to sing live is the kind of stunt few luxury brands manage to pull off, much less an emerging designer, but then Harris Reed has always been about exploding expectations.

The demi-couture collection, which featured draped, coronation-worthy trains and lace tailoring, borrowed its title from Sixty Years a Queen, an 1897 tome published to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria. Reed wanted to draw a connection between the tropes of royalty — ruffs, ceremonial crowns, and Elizabethan-era painted faces — and the aesthetic of drag and inherent performativity of gender. Who says the House of Windsor is stuffy?

Reed is firmly committed to upcycling, so he fashioned the collection from 100-year-old upholstery fabric donated by the Italian furniture company Bussandri with a sprinkling of deadstock sequins sourced from a London supplier. He even repurposed some of the same Dolce feathers used for Iman, painting them black and creating what looked like a photo-negative of her look, shown on a different body type.

“When I’m designing, it really is always about this muse, they’re this fluid being,” Reed says. “The beauty of demi-couture is that design meets the being, kind of halfway through the process and then it can be really tailored to them.”

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By Betty C. Giordano

Welcome to my site. My name is Betty C. Giordano and I am a blogger of everything related to mobile, news, events and reality in general. I hope you enjoy reading my content.

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