In the fourth season of HBO’s Insecure, we see Issa (portrayed by Issa Rae) finally throwing her long-planned block party after many stumbles throughout her career, dating history, and friendships. The party is a success, bringing together the neighborhood, local businesses, and big name musical acts like Vince Staples to solidify her future goals.
For the fashion-conscious among us, the block party isn’t the only element solidifying Issa’s future. Her style — as its progressed through the seasons — showcases how much she’s come into her own, mixing patterns and showcasing bold fashion choices as she works her way up the social ladder.
The outfits are experimental and modern, starkly different from her wares and wears from the first three seasons. Just as Issa has come into her own, she has taken more risks with how she showcases herself: through color blocking, overlaying patterns, and a mixture of all of the above, all at once. Costume designer Shiona Turini told The Cut in June: “We stuck to an aesthetic that feels authentic to her character, but elevated it… She’s not yet where she wants to be, but she’s making more conscious choices into the woman she’s becoming.”
Issa is cool, confident, and fashionable, all while showing a turning tide of the fashion — and achievements — to come. Those thoughts and maturations further come to fruition in the styles from other cultural touchstones, like the bold faux-fur bomber from Arabella’s wardrobe set against the shocking narrative of Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You.
With their Fall 2020 collections, designers took the same empowering cues, creating looks that were dramatic and rich, with a nod to heritage print. Designs influenced by the bold, the mixed-media, and the bright colors have popped up on the runways of Stella McCartney, Missoni, Dries, and Zimmerman. The outlandish styling may cause shock and confusion upon first glance — but, ultimately, make sense. The colors work together, the patterns compliment the confidence of the wearer, and the appreciation for craftsmanship is a footnote in the summaries of many designers’ collections.
For Sullivan Street Studio’s Fall 2021 Heritage Geos story, artists approach heritage design and craft with a fresh eye, experimenting with colors, mediums and mixing patterns across cultures and time periods.
Sullivan Street’s library will be accessible to clients on December 1st. Email to be put on the list for access.