It was a temperate evening in the Fabric District of Manhattan, where designer Ron Poisson threw a party and a fashion show, complete with an open bar, photoshoot backdrops for attendees and a DJ to play all night long.
Poisson’s unveiling of his new project, Cult of Individuality X HVMAN: Ascension, showed off the streetwear designer’s range when it comes to everyday wear. Poisson’s own personal style comes through in a new way than with his collections with label Cult of Individuality, which he also showed at the event.
The party atmosphere—where viewers stood instead of sat for the show—opened itself up to the controlled randomness that is Poisson’s signature vision, something his fans cherish. Many attendees sported past collections of Poisson’s—studded denim jackets with large skull patches, crystal encrusted pants with knee rips, and painted leather. (Which almost turned the event into an archive presentation for the average spectator.) No two outfits looked the same, and it was absolutely refreshing.
To be clear, HVMAN isn’t replacing Cult, it’s adding onto it, that’s why he showed the two labels together. Poisson made it clear that HVMAN explores the simplicity of fashion and the beauty of basics—while Cult is all about showing off one’s own uniqueness through one of a kind, standout pieces.
Cult of Individuality usually utilizes the plainness of denim to add embellishments of all sorts (like embroidered tigers and rhinestones). HVMAN does not.
Poisson’s current pieces for Cult included less dark imagery and more color. A zebra print leather jacket and crystal embossed rainbow denim jackets; something new but still authentic to Poisson’s emphasis on originality.
Is full of understated sweat sets—a major trend that has found its roots in work from home pandemic fashion. Cotton crewnecks in subtle colors, while not a new invention, brings an overall softness to Poisson’s portfolio—a facet of his we haven’t seen before at Cult.
Though there were only a few, the women’s pieces garnered the most attention. A one armed, pin striped blazer dress, with gold detailing and Off-White-esque belt stole the show. And then a rainbow sequin maxi dress with an intricate bedazzled denim jacket continued the excitement. Where any of the menswear fell flat, the sequins and industrial touches to the womenswear ramped the energy right back up.
Poisson exhibited impressive creative restraint, showing off the extreme contrast between past collections to this one. It’s obvious Poisson is impressed with himself, too—not without thanking those that helped him get there and his musical inspirations that constantly inspire his work.
Invited tonight were long-time friends of Poisson: Skip and Saiyan Marley, grandsons of Bob Marley—one of Poisson’s major creative influences. Skip, a recording artist and collaborator of Poisson’s took a backseat at the show as a spectator. Saiyan made his modeling debut tonight.
Poisson sported one of his own, signature Cult designs. A leather jacket fitted perfectly to his physique—with silver paint and shoulder studs. His left arm read in the strobes lights: “Faith + Trust.” The bottom left of the jacket said “Resist Brutality” in Metallica font.
When Poisson came out to greet fans and friends, it felt like he had been there the whole time. The crowd cheered and the cameras flashed—Poisson looked very comfortable in the spotlight. Then, it was obvious where the show ended and the party began. Just what he had hoped for.