Smith Ultra-Modern Aesthetic, and Uncensored Social Commentary
Designer Charles Smith II is arguably one of today’s most outspoken emerging young designers. For Fall 2018, Smith utilized his ultra-modern aesthetic and uncensored social commentary to respond to the issues surrounding the current “MeToo” movement, and the treatment and portrayal of women.
The clothes in his latest collection are sleek, urban, and most importantly, relevant. “I try to keep it simple, but I like creating things that people feel resonates with them’” Smith explains. “I hope that it will make them feel proud and powerful while they wear it.” The largely layered looks are comprised of streetwear staples such as hoodies, sports bras, and sweatpants, yet there is a modernness and surprising level of comfort surrounding his aesthetic. Each item is covetable, beginning with the oversized and elongated silhouettes with dangling straps that lend a dramatic edge to each garment, to the asymmetrical hemline dresses with raglan sleeves that can easily be incorporated into a modern wardrobe.
Despite the predominantly dark color palette, Smith II also infused pops of pastel blue and pink, striking red, high-gloss patent leather, and a light smattering of eye-catching sequins. Then there are his signature graphic elements, including phrases such as “Do Not Touch,” “Fuck Off” and “Parental Advisory”. The explicit garments correlate to the growing issues surrounding women’s rights, in line with the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements.
“The inspiration for “Do Not Touch’” pertains to the security and boundaries of a woman who has a right to say no, not to mention the right to walk through a club or walk home at night without being harassed, violated or raped, ” explained the designer. “Sex trafficking is also a major issue in our society that often gets overlooked, and I believe that this “Do Not Touch” collection will bring awareness to this topic. The collection speaks to these issues and challenges those who may wish to violate a woman’s personal space to think twice before placing their hands on women’s bodies without their consent.”
As a designer Smith is not only responding and reacting to critical social justice issues, but also makes it a point to give back to his community in effort to empower and mentor Dallas youth to help spur their education and their future.