“For lack of a better term, I was feeling like giving it to the people,” Sergio Hudson said of his latest collection, which the Beyoncé and Michelle Obama-approved designer showcased in the heart of Wall Street on Saturday night. His main point of inspiration: A YouTube video of Prince performing a soundcheck at the 1991 Special Olympics. Hudson found himself mesmerized by the musical icon’s chutzpah, the way he strutted across the stage, full of confidence and self-assurance. Noting the post-Roe landscape, Hudson asked himself: What would a woman look like if she felt as empowered as that clip of Prince? “It’s probably one of the first times that I haven’t been inspired by a woman for a collection,” he said.
This Prince-inspired spirit of funkified sex and glamor certainly showed up in the clothes. There were crayon-colored slip dresses, leopard-print coats, cinched, Pan Am-era skirts, big hair and even bigger shoulder pads, and few, if any, bras. There was a lot of flesh on display—with fabrics occasionally slipping an inch or two and revealing the ever-controversial (and often banned) nipple. Whenever this happened, the models kept on strutting, heads held high. It all felt very rock’n’roll.
The beauty of Hudson’s work is how wide-ranging his muses and customers are. In the audience sat comedian and talk show host Sherri Shepherd (in a stunning jewel-toned yellow number), Real Housewives stars Dorinda Medley and Ashley Darby, and the rapper Latto. There was plenty of diversity on the runway, too. Veronica Webb, Sessilee Lopez, and Chanel Iman made appearances. Hudson touched on how important and affirming the castings were to the women, saying, “When Chanel came to the fitting, she was like, ‘You know, I’m not as small as I used to be.’ I was like, ‘Yeah, that’s why I booked you.’”
The new collection—which is called simply Collection 10, as Hudson recently decided to go “seasonless”—also featured a shift away from the monochromatic dressing he has made a name through and an embrace of bold color-blocking. There were looks that combined poppy, neon-hued pink, green, and blue while retaining the designer’s trademark classicism and throwback glamor.
At the end of the day, this collection is about uplifting the Sergio Hudson woman. “Because I serve women,” Hudson said. “That’s what I live to do. And they’re the most powerful creatures on Earth. Without them there would be no Earth.”