Harris Reed’s Graduation between a World Pandemic Crisis

Harris Reed, a 24-year-old, 5 year graduate of Central Saint Martins, has already experienced dressing Harry Styles and Solange Knowles at his young age. Now, he makes his debut by presenting his graduation collection, as he felt obligated to––amidst getting caught in the lockdown and having the UK cancel all graduations. A collection that was curated, captured and animated during isolation. 

His collection begins with a unique fashion model prototype. It delivers the message of gender-fluidity and freedom. The collection comes to life in a sequence of virtual-only looks, animated videos, oversized hats, and platform boots. The foundation of his inspiration is a rock look from the 70s, with a noticeable touch of romanticism and opulence. In addition to that, the designer recalls the fifth Marquess of Anglesey, Henry Cyril Paget, as his chosen muse. The velvet, the bows, and the pope-like hats, is even contradictory and it couldn’t fit better to the current times, don’t you think? 

Due to current events, these times could represent a stop to any thriving designer’s career. We could easily find it difficult to keep the spirit of celebration alive, but this could amount to a challenge that could turn around the situation into our favor; and, reimagine how we present ourselves to the world. Now that we have more time to return to our roots––we spend our time sitting on the floor and sewing, and this makes us fall in love with the craft all over again. Handmade custom pieces will be making a comeback, and people will cut down their expenses and will hand things down instead. 

The traditional fashion show is perhaps dead as we know it. In reality, it won’t be fully digital. Brands will need to find a way to have exclusive shows for VIPs, buyers, and editors. But at the same time, release something more than a live stream to the public to create an engaging connection with the customer. People will always want to know what’s behind the curtain––the insight story of it all.

Reed found another way to draw attention to his first full-fledged collection, and the final major project of his degree: A filter that represents the resourcefulness and ingenuity of Gen-Z. Creating a filter is one thing, getting it noticed is another. Reed called on his network of friends and industry contacts to try out the filter before its release on May 20, 2020, also not-so-coincidentally Reed’s 24th birthday.

Come to think of it, perhaps you’re wondering, why the white hat? For the designer that a moment could be created around the wide-brim hat that has quickly become a Harris Reed signature.

“I was looking through my Instagram for old photographs and noticed that there was a spike [in interest] whenever the giant white hat appeared, and even though I’m such a new brand, it is kind of an identifier for me.”

Harris Reed

Models like Gaia Gerber and other influential faces like Jodie Turner-Smith, Kathryn Newton, Alisha Boe, Harris’s Gucci companions Ariana Papademetropoulos and Zumi Rosow, and his long-time collaborator and stylist, Harry Lambert (Harry Styles’s stylist), used the filter. 

The filter is obviously more than a fun, huge-sized graphic to try on. The experience has given rise to a change of approach for the designer, who lets us know that perhaps some things really do happen for a very good reason.

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