SCANDALOUS. PROVOCATIVE. CONTROVERSIAL
Like a blazing comet, Domingo Zapata has traversed infinite manifestations of the imagination, voluptuousness and passion.
He is the human personification of FOMO. When you have that feeling of a single breath dive, staying below the turbulent surface gasping that first breath, both frightening and joyful. That is the best way I can describe any and all adventures I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing with Domingo.
Last week was no exception, having navigated both coasts like a dizzy ping-pong this year; I was tempted to not attend the second week of New York Fashion Week, however when my dear friend painter Domingo Zapata, called to tell me that he was putting on a fashion show in collaboration with Love X Fashion X Art that following week, my ticket was booked before we hung up the phone! His gusto and excitement over any project is part of his provenance, however I sensed an amplification of that passion as he engaged with this creative expression on clothing. While he has previously collaborated with Alice and Olivia on a capsule collection that benefited the CFDA, as well as a limited edition sneaker launch with Superga that sold out world wide, his new unisex “art to wear” collaboration with Love X Fashion X Art would be something entirely different… and it was.
While I was out there during Men’s NYFW, his apartment was the hub of everything having to do with the collection. There was a cacophony of paint, garments, the team, set designers and coordinators; it was so infectious I had to jump in and collaborate with the team. LFA is helmed by Bernard Aiden, founder of Catherine Malandrino, and his wonderful assistant Marija and I played around with set lists, the music, what phrases should be painted on what garments, the finale song (Tainted Love by Marilyn Manson) and walk. The collection was broken up into five different categories, each one very different in it’s own way. It was a great time and made my anticipation for this show palpable by the time I returned home to California.
Four days later I took the red-eye out on the night before the show, and upon arrival and headed straight to Domingo’s apartment where all of the finishing touches were being done. After a few fun and frenetic hours at the apartment, it was time have the garments wrapped up and dispatched to the venue, New York’s infamous burlesque theatre The Box. After I grabbed quick bite with Domingo and a few friends at Mamo, I headed back to his apartment to do a quick change and grabbed one my closest friends and an even more brilliant photographer Daniel D’Ottavio. We then headed to the Box, where we were practically vibrating with excitement to see the walk through.
Being able to watch one of my closest friends run through and coordinate his first fashion show to debut at NYFW was a joy I will carry with me for the rest of my life. At 5:30 PM the long-line of guests were ushered in, the press was already inside the venue piled up at the end of the runway. Guests were either seated in chairs or in the venue’s plush tables, with a huge overflow of onlookers watching from the mezzanine level. Dakota Lohan made his runway debut at Domingo’s show; so it was no surprise for me to see Lindsay fly over from Dubai to be the supportive big sister she is alongside her other brother Michael.
Lights dim, and out walks a renowned tap dancer wearing hand painted tap boots to ignite the crowd’s excitement for what was to come. Then the real show began. Domingo’s personal muse,
Jessica Stamp, opened the show by reenacting a human bullfight while wearing an authentic hand painted traje de luces boleros, also known as a Matador Jacket.
She did this while being handcuffed on her right wrist by 24 karat gold Kiki de Montparnasse handcuffs, to a barely dry bull-fighting cape as she strutted down the runway and spun the cape open. Domingo’s show featured a cast of gender fluid models and performers, each bringing their own unique look that brought with it it’s own identity and buzz of engagement. The show had five categories: the Bullfighter, Panda, Flowers, Mona Lisa, and the finale which needed no name. One of the highlights of the show for me was the look that included the use of Domingo’s iconic Panda’s that can be spotted in installations across the globe. Another opulent look that resonated with me, was when one model came out wearing a Panda mask, only to take it off as he strutted down the runway adorned in a deconstructed chocolate colored alligator motorcycle jacket that was impeccably painted, it took all my restraint to not rip it right off the runway!
Malik Roberts who works closely with Domingo, also walked during the Panda section, wearing a Panda and Betty Boop varsity bomber jacket, all the while Panda by Designer played throughout the venue. My favorite had to be the finale with models wearing black leather dresses saying “Kiss Me Like You Miss Me” or my personal favorite
“Fuck Me Like You Hate Me.” A statement I had personally experienced before when Domingo actually sharpied that on my arm for his event in Miami during Art Basel, which you can also read about under the travel archives.
And just like that it was over. The models went upstairs to change, the press and guests rushed to congratulate Domingo and interview him, as the venue had to be reset for another show at six. After the show five of us and went to the Bowery for some appetizers and drinks, and then back to Domingo’s for an intimate gathering with a small group of some of his closest friends and supporters. That my friends… is a Domingo Zapata show at it’s finest.