Gogo Graham showed the spring summer 2023 collection in New York.
You slipped through my fingers, but even so, I could never hold you. You move with the light of a false sun, flickering across my periphery, unyielding and without direction but you are not free. I grow tired watching you but I can’t look away, like a moth to a flame, a generation to a screen. I close my eyes to find darkness but I still see the things you’ve shown me. I can’t keep them closed for long, I photosynthesize pixels and call it individuality. In this cycle, I become numb, distracted, easily entertained, easily convinced. Swallowed whole, I wander across the abyss as someone yells, “content, content, content! and the algorithm says “open wide!”
In the dimly lit corners of YouTube, Gogo was watching “speedrun” videos of gamers who were beating games in jaw-dropping record times. Games that would normally take an estimated 40 hours to beat, were being beaten in 5 hours. These videos have hundreds of thousands of views – we remain captivated by what seems like the impossible and we love watching it happen, watching reality shatter. For her Spring/Summer 2023 presentation, Gogo Graham presents “Speedrun,” a collection turned commentary examining the residual effects of speed on our quotidians.
Speed is more than velocity, it has become synonymous with awareness, or lack of, with access and efficiency, and has come to define connection itself, ironically. We are constantly inundated by content, visual stimulation is a matter of scrolling and typing something into the search bar is pilgrimage. We have become placated by all that we see, mirrors to popular opinion as our minds become feeds feigning knowledge. For designers and creatives alike, being a part of the industry often means having to regale the cycle by producing multiple collections a year, collaborate with “x” relevant person and to be creating aspirational content. To say the least, being in fashion today is to be under immense pressure – and what this pressure yields is homogeneity, so how do we still find meaning?
Looking to the legends turned household names that have come before us for reassurance and inspiration, we see a sense of purity in their work. It’s not to say that trends or pressure didn’t exist in their heyday but there was a singularity to reference and point of view sans internet. They draped garments but designed worlds and lived in them. On a similar note, the collection’s soundtrack was inspired by Millennium Actress, a film by Satoshi Kon that follows an aging actress as she reminisces about her life after quitting at the height of her career – waxing as she wanes as regret, euphoria and sentimentality writhe becoming synonymous with one another. Gogo finds resonance in narrative and chords with a collection that offers what she can give, focusing on more wearable, casual pieces, sprinkled with a few formal, demi-couture looks. While homage is too often commodified, true legends transcend.