Gypsy Sport Spring 2023 Ready-to-Wear Collection


Oh to be a self-possessed teen decked out in emo plaid, eyeliner, and bridge piercings in 2002 at The Smell, L.A.’s all-ages DIY venue downtown. Rio Uribe of Gypsy Sport can take you there. The old Amoeba Music building, a former access point to culture for so many Angeleno teens, was a fitting venue. The walls were pulsing in projections of the Gypsy Sport logo and an Infinite Jest-esque live feed of us, the audience, our little be-booted feet tapping fitfully. The grown-ups who could only faintly remember the frisson of a punk youth broke into grins as the show began and genderqueer goths and plaid-clad babes in pleaser heels dropped it low.

Rio Uribe, in his second show back on his home turf of Los Angeles, is still mining the endless wealth that his own Chicano heritage reveals. His collections used to be self-contained. Each was a “new hodgepodge of ideas and experiments,” he said after the show, bouncy and elated. But over the pandemic and his last two collections, he felt as though he was able to focus on one theme with infinitely diverse expressions.

The show opened with what he called “a very Chicano character”: A model with a shorn-head, goatee, and face tats strode down the runway in matching white oversized shorts and jacket in Gypsy Sport logo print. But then the box sprung open and the definition of Chicanismo diverged again and again.

The Pachuco zoot suit showed up in a slouchy, cool red, and also in a paring-knifed, deconstructed form, cropped and mini-skirted. Then came low slung cargo shorts and studded belts with BMX boy energy. Athletic mesh dresses were laced up over a host of different bodies. Models sported studs down their noses and goth platform boots with a zillion buckles. The Chicano classic two-tone Charlie Brown print was done up entirely in sequins hugging an ass just so. “The more I explore my community,” Uribe said, “the more I realize…we do gothic stuff. We like emo. We like rock en español. We like disco. So I really wanted to break any stereotypes of Chicanos that you might have.”

Uribe recalled the clubs that opened his eyes to fashion and identity. “There was a place called Arena,” he said, “where we all used to go as teenagers because…you could sneak in at 15 or 16….That’s the first time I saw a drag queen in real life…the first time I saw two girls making out. All of these big life-changing moments happened at the Arena for me.” Arena is now gone. Places like The Smell are just barely hanging on post-pandemic. These disappearing alt scenes and queer safe spaces in Los Angeles are what Uribe wants to keep alive.

Though youthful energy carried each look, the pieces were born from a long-developed eye. A striking pair of supremely mature cream pleated pants got a full dressing down from a plaid top with the sleeves ripped off. Satin-y jackets lined with plaid and midi plaid skirts took the emo kid’s clothes and polished them up enough to stay in rotation beyond the teenage years.

Last year a real-life bride and groom ordered full pink Gypsy Sport looks. So Uribe brought bridal to his runway, officially, this season. The punkette bride closed the show, walking out with black lips and a closed, almost mistrustful gaze, in a sequin-logo-strewn veil and gown, full puffy skirt cinched along a cord.

Come next September, Uribe muses, who knows? He may be back in New York. He would have fun at any Fashion Week, but there is something particularly potent about having him here in L.A., tapping into our teen memories.

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