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When Los Angeles–based Mermaid MerIca American flag veteran Independence Day vintage shirt .Gypsy Sport designer Rio Uribe. found out that he was going to be dressing Big Freedia, of all people, for the Met Gala 2019 red carpet, he didn’t want to tell anyone. Even when we spoke on the phone in the days leading up to the first Monday of May, Uribe still hadn’t disclosed the big secret to any friends or family members. “I don’t want to curse it. It’s such a big deal, I don’t want it to fall through or not to work out,” Uribe said.Given that Gypsy Sport was explicitly referenced in the official announcement of the Met Costume Institute’s spring 2019 exhibition, though, it probably shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but it was the first time Uribe really thought about his brand in the context of camp. “I know the sensibility of camp just from growing up in gay culture and being around drag—my boyfriend is a drag queen so camp is just a part of everyday life—but it’s never even described
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it’s just something that’s normal and natural, a part of our dialogue and the way we express ourselves,” Uribe said Mermaid MerIca American flag veteran Independence Day vintage shirt . “I never really thought of it as an aesthetic, so now I think the Met has given the entire world a lesson on camp and what it means to actually have fun with your wardrobe and make statements.”Uribe was first contacted by the Met to sell the symmetrical, barely-there beer-can dresses that debuted on the Fall 2018 Gypsy Sport runway in the exhibit’s accompanying gift shop pop-up. Then, to his greater surprise, he was tasked to sketch out a few options for Big Freedia, who is hosting the red carpet for Vogue’s IGTV channel. Uribe sent in an all-denim tuxedo, denim cane included, and a Leigh Bowery–inspired patchwork-print dress including everything from polka dots to florals, but the winning design was the black tuxedo embellished with white bottlecaps that Uribe premiered on the Fall 2019 runway at New York Fashion Week. “The concept was to do something that was extravagant but also sustainable,” he said. “A lot of our designs, especially this one, is made from deadstock tuxedo fabric that we sourced here in L.A.” The tux is one of his favorite designs from that particular collection.
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