Alan Gonzalez, the young Houston designer behind Alantude, set the scene for a deeply personal night at his March 22 fashion show. A boxing ring greeted guests, who gained an "artistic entrance into his mind" with three SS18 collections and an opening performance for each.
A lyrical dance by Iris Lacsomona opened "Daddy Issues," in which Gonzalez explored his own relationship with his father and turned his tears into designs stained with a purple ombré finish. Models started with their tops fully covered but revealed more skin as the collection progressed, meant to symbolize the childhood Gonzalez grew up with.
“[This collection] came from the childhood separation I experienced between my father and me,” the designer said. “It translated into crinkled white cotton hand-dipped in a purple bath to give an ombré effect symbolizing the tears I’ve shed thanks for the lack of communication I experienced with my dad.”
Next came "Beg for Sugar," opened with a performance by singer Aylin Colin. For his second collection, Gonzalez explored the "sugar daddy/baby" relationship, where "it's never really clear who is begging for sugar." He also examined society’s perception of independent women.
“It came from a strong female figure that understands how society works,” Gonzalez said. “Women aren’t seen for their minds or words, but just seen for their bodies.”
Black-and-white clothing with translucent fabric hid certain areas, meant to convey that the woman is in control of how much skin she shows to the world. Models threw chiffon pieces at a “sugar daddy” seated at the end of the runway before walking off confidently.
"These are women who are in charge and know how to get what they want," Gonzalez said. "They are strong independent [women] and call their own shots."
The third and final collection, "Take the Beating," opened with three rounds of boxing between Rubisel Gonzalez and Adam Elara. Inspired by the sport and concepts of masculinity, Gonzalez conjured an “archaic ritual of showing power through force.”
He said his collection stemmed from hearing things like, “Act like a man,” “Don’t cry,” and “Take the hits” in his childhood. Models hit the runway in red and black dresses, satin and taffeta gowns that cinched the waist–similar to boxing shorts–and cropped Alantude hoodies and cinched, red satin shorts.
“Masculinity, what it means, and my personal experiences of growing up in this male-dominated world was the underlying theme to all three collections,” Gonzalez said.