With Downtown Los Angeles as the backdrop, Sav Noir Debuted its LAFW collection by seamlessly infusing 1980s Glam and Punk Rock with overtones hinting towards 19th Century French floral design. The collection was presented on a rooftop in DTLA’s fashion district, providing an intimate gathering of LA’s fashion community, where the audience’s style represented the best of Los Angeles. Sav Noir Designer and Founder Edwin Haynes draws from influences ranging from his adolescence to adulthood which creates an experience unique to his life, leaving the audience to interpret his personality through design. Insight into Haynes’s life will bring you through Dark-Wave Goth and Punk Rock aesthetic that has cultivated in Brooklyn, San Francisco and Los Angeles nightlife, where the restless, genderless, and rebellious souls choose to develop their way of life against the mainstream and the constructs of binary defining gender roles.
Where did you draw inspiration for this collection?
I draw inspiration from the people around me, the music I listen to, and from people watching in punk dive bars. That’s my comfort zone; that’s where I was raised. Home is at the dive bars, where we all have the same story—we’re all trying to survive. Dive bars will teach you a lot about life. You get people from all different spectrums of life going in and out of them with all different stories. It’s one of the rawest places you can go to feel subculture.
Can you list/explain your music choice of music for the runway show and how it enhanced the experience?
Radiohead (full shot) – always been a huge fan. That song really touched me- gave me Berlin vibes- tunnel basement Berlin vibes. That’s the gothy part of Sav Noir.
Bad Brains (band in DC) – it’s the punk aspect of Sav Noir
The Doors (people are strange) – represents the people that I draw inspiration from, that I see everyday.
For Unisex design and apparel, how do you portray non-binary style through your work?
My clothing is inherently non-binary: it is all unisex. I use a lot of agender and trans models. In this day and age, the body isn’t old-world; there are so many different variations in this matter.
In this day and age, what is gender? I’m so blind to gender to the point that I just want people to do what makes them feel good. People are starting to not give a fuck what society has told them to do for so long- people are starting to express creativity in their own way. For those who want to express their self-image in a fluid way, and feel comfortable in your own skin, Sav Noir will dress you.
How has Dark Wave music and fashion influenced you over time?
I relate to Dark Wave music because it is my lifestyle. It speaks to my everyday challenges- past,current and future, and my perspective towards life, my perceptions toward society. Dark music is for the rebel, for the person who differs from the standard manual. Punk music has been speaks to the issues that people have been afraid to voice.
How have you re-imagined classic silhouettes such as a biker jacket, floral patterns, and blouses within this collection?
I add certain elements to tweak the fit and cut of classic silhouettes like the biker jacket or the feminine silk blouse.
Classic cuts are traditionally directed to one aesthetic, but the new cut fits the new body. The European heroin chic body – it doesn’t really exist any more.
For you, what surroundings in Los Angeles inspire what fashion can be? And how was The Lazarus Experience played a role in your design?
Does Brooklyn count?
The Lazarus Experience houses my showroom and that’s where I create, that’s where I design. Everything is made within a four-block experience within the Lazarus experience. I have access to everything I could ever, which gives me more freedom to create.
How has this collection differed from your past season(s)?
This collection is very cohesive, with little pops of color. I extended the line into metallics and other fabrics I haven’t used in the past.
What does the year 1980 mean to you?
1980 is the year I was born. It was the point when society got back to the people. The decade saw a huge shift because people were fed up – the Berlin wall, Oliver North, and crack cocaine hitting this country like crazy. People were voicing their opinions and fighting and breaking out of being robots.
We’re back in that place again. (Do you want to elaborate on this at all?)
How were African American punk and dark wave bands such as Bad Brains and Pure Hell influential to you?
Very, very influential. Especially in this generation, it’s sort of challenging because everyone puts a stigma on black people- I’m supposed to be a rapper.
Bad Brains and Pure Hell showed that it’s OK to be different. Punk is a state of culture and voice rather than a color and a look. Music is a language that everyone can understand because it expresses emotion.
How did you choose your models? Do you have a personal relationship with them? Do their lifestyle and aesthetic already represent the essence of Sav Noir?
Yes. I chose the models because they exemplify what Sav Noir represents. I really decided to go the route of picking the everyday person to wear the clothes, because I wanted to show how the garments would look walking on the street.
Sav Noir is a high-end subculture brand, and the models reflect this through their unique looks. Each expresses their individuality in their own way, which is reflected back into the Sav Noir brand.
How does Gender Equality play a role in Sav Noir?
We are genderless.