This show review was translated from Danish to English by Graham Addinall.
LÆS DEN DANSKE UDGAVE HER
Alectra Rothschild / Masculina, Monday, January 29, 2024 at 16.00, The Lab
Sometimes it can be a good thing that there is more to say about the show than the collection, other times it can be… less good. But in the case of Alectra Rothschild’s debut show during Copenhagen Fashion Week, it’s definitely the former. Because let me start by saying: we weren’t just invited to a show, we were invited to a party: a tribute to being exactly who you are.
It may sound banal but, for Alectra Rothschild, the road to being who she is and wants to be has not been quite so straight. As a transgender woman, it has taken a little longer to arrive in the body and self she is in now. That is why the name of the collection was also ‘The Rebirth Carry’, and the focal point was precisely being reborn and arriving in one’s body, in oneself.
The rebirth was built on Alectra’s last collection, ‘R.I.P Masculina’, where she said goodbye to the sides that you naturally have to part with – kill if you will – in a gender change process. And after this farewell we were ready for a party, a tribute and a big celebration. Alectra has said in a previous interview that her clothes are made for performance, and this was demonstrated to the nth degree today with a model cast that consisted of performers, artists, DJs, models and actors: all part of Alectra Rothschild’s community, from which the brand also originates.
And the show was precisely a performance, where one model after another strutted to the sound of an enthusiastic audience and the DJ’s off-beat avant-garde techno. There was PVC, leather and latex on boots, corsets and leggings with cut-out details and bondage references.
The large silver sash with an enlarged newspaper print brought to mind John Galliano’s iconic newspaper dress for Dior but was still totally Alectra with a corset bodice with cutouts and a detachable, floor-length train. The denim set, which looked like jeans combined with fishnet stockings, worked perfectly and was super hot.
But despite the brand’s more glam tendencies, there were also looks that could be worn outside the club, like the all-black pants and top set with gathers, ties and asymmetry. Or the dark grey PVC trench coat that I could easily see cycling through the street, although that’s probably not what Alectra had in mind when she made the outfit.
The shiny materials referred to rebirth, because as water is the starting point for all life, water has also been the source of inspiration for the collection. It was seen in long fringes from tops, jackets and some skirts which symbolised pouring rain. There were gathered and draped dresses and tops that we’ve seen before from the brand but together with the almost liquid fabrics in hoods, trains and waterfalls – no pun intended – the fabric was also used as a performative element, like waves, when they were swung around on the large floor by the models. The models, by the way, all stayed on the floor and walked around and interacted with the audience and each other until they had filled the stage and were ready for the finale.
The finale was where the full collection was allowed to stand out in its entirety and demonstrate that these clothes are made for movement and expression. It was glam, extra, a little too much and absolutely perfect. This collection is probably not for everyone with its focus on buttocks and pubic hair, but that’s actually just the way it should be. There is a need for niche brands, such as Alectra Rothschild/Masculina, where you know what you are getting without appealing to the broad masses. We need designers who dare to stand by who they and who their customer group is, and who create what no one else creates.
See a selection of the show looks below and see the entire collection here.