Toussaint Rosefort FW24 Mourns the "Death of Innocence"

The rising New York designer explores the tarnishing of youthful idealism, with punkish textiles, contrasting color plays and nostalgic details.

Fashion
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Inside the Upper East Side’s Town School Cafeteria last week, burgeoning New York designer Toussaint Rosefort debuted his Fall/Winter 2024 manifesto: a poignant, disruptive fashion line that articulates the harsh realities of growing up, titled “Death of Innocence.”

Galvanized by his roots in Haitian, Puerto Rican and American culture, Toussaint’s designs chronicle his evolution from adolescence to adulthood, charting the naivety lost along the way. In one method, he stylistically articulates this transition through color: beaming white serves as a fresh “blank slate” on several ensembles (logo-laden draped tops, sheer long-sleeves and cinched workwear trousers included), while a dominating, dark black symbolizes the natural corrosion of youth’s simplicity.

Anarchical style tropes fuel the line’s riotous persona further. Spiked chokers offer protection from the outside world, while enlarged iterations form belts, fending off foes from the waistline. Leather provides the armor on red and black coats, while mesh underlayers, graphic T-shirts and “Love Is Pain, Pain Is Love” knits cement Rosefort’s punkish design language.

Still, the designer warms the heart with nostalgic references to childhood. Neckties, often essential to the preppy schoolboy’s uniform (especially that of the runway’s highbrow venue), are playfully repurposed as corsetry. Meanwhile, a knit sweater neatly envelopes an old Scantron test in its front red pocket. Make sure to look closely: the bubbles are filled out to spell “AW24.”

In the school setting, Rosefort nods to some of the literary landmarks that influenced his maturation, sending models through the lunch room holding books like Josef Albers’ Interaction, which explores the German-born, American artist’s painterly themes. Simultaneously, the fashioner provides commentary on American government: one T-shirt, in particular, boasts lettering that reads “Vote For No One,” alluding to a “protest vote,” or a “ballot cast for a candidate with a minimal chance of winning, to register dislike for the other candidates.”

In his early days, Rosefort’s fashion universe attracts onlookers with its strong perspective. His brand is founded on pushing culture forward with a confident posture: “Building strength in one’s own voice provides a stance against complacency in a world shaped by the echoes of history yet defined by the promise of change,” his collection notes conclude.

See Toussaint Rosefort’s Fall/Winter 2024 collection in the gallery above.

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