No Sesso is readying a return to New York Fashion Week in February, but in the meantime, codesigners Pierre Davis and Autumn Randolph presented their latest collection, “Ghetto Gold,” via a short film and installation as part of Jeffrey Deitch’s “Shattered Glass” show at Art Basel in Miami.
“We like to do both,” Davis said of showing both on calendar and off. “Collections like this one that are more of an art story can have their own moment. Then when it’s more about a retail component, we can be at fashion week,” she said, noting that the brand will be working with Levi’s on its upcoming runway show.
Like many of today’s emerging fashion labels, No Sesso is as much about community as commodity; MelAhn Frierson, who co-curated the “Shattered Glass” show, is a friend of the house, and appears in the film wearing the brand’s signature “One Titty Dress,” two of them, actually, draped on top of each other to make one look.
It was Frierson’s idea to bring the collection to Art Basel. “More people got to see this than a runway show,” said Davis, explaining that the installation was up for several days and free to the public, who could enjoy the film and its hip-hop soundtrack by another friend, Cody Perkins, with lyrics calling out “No Sesso” alongside “Chanel.”
The 16 “Ghetto Gold” pieces were next level — or couture done the No Sesso way, as Davis said, while staying true to the brand’s value of not just freeing the nipple, but freeing the whole body.
Handcrafted slipdresses and other lingerie-like pieces were inspired by Afrofuturism and Black royalty, the designers said, with many shades of brown highlighting Black and brown nude skin tones. (All pieces are one-of-one, available to purchase for private clients, but will not be produced for the retail market.)
Using upcycled fabrics from past collections, in addition to new silk charmeuse and chiffons, with daring cutouts, liquid-like draping, artfully placed feathers and jewels, the designers conjured sensual illusion and inclusion. Meanwhile, patchwork crocodile and fur corsets, handbags and coats added a layer of raw, “Mad Max” style decadence that kept things interesting.
More ready-to-wear-leaning sexy tailoring in pinstripe wool or leather with cutout sleeves and garter pants, and a slipdress with utility pocket and bondage strap details paired with a silk bomber, hinted at the kind of glamorous but also commercial streetwear No Sesso could venture into come February. We will be watching.