Designer Vivienne Tam, renowned fuser of Asian and Western styles, presented a fall 2013 ready-to-wear collection that is edgy, bold, graphic, playful—and covered in pictures of Barack Obama.
Leather outerwear and shift dresses feature red-and-black prints of the President smiling and sporting sunglasses, while he holds matrix barcodes. Other pieces are covered in giant pixelated representations of No. 44, including the dress that Tam donned for her cameo at the end of the show.
The fusion of dark punk and POTUS resembled what one might expect the ladies of Sin City to wear when attending a fancy political fundraiser. Other iconic males were present in the line’s undertones, too: Piet Mondrian in color-blocked torsos, Roy Lichtenstein in the rasterized pop-art prints and Mao Zedong in giant written characters.
Speaking to Fashionista, Tam described the collection as an ode to “hope and humor,” as well as a statement that fashionistas should know what’s going on in the world beyond the runway. “Hope,” of course, was a slogan for Obama during his 2008 campaign, when the country was enthralled by their election of America’s first black President. Tam’s decision to bet on presidential prints five years later, when the thrill and optimism surrounding Obama have waned, seems oddly timed—or perhaps stubbornly optimistic.
Regardless, the collection unveiled on Sunday during New York’s fashion week is definitely fun—and a great relief for all those ladies who are experiencing a dearth of Obama’s mug on their evening wear.