When Beyoncé kicked off the On the Run II tour in June wearing a sparkling mesh custom bodysuit and blazer by LaQuan Smith, it was a sign that the designer had arrived. Smith, who began his label at 21 after learning the craft from his grandmother, has been outfitting Bey, Kim Kardashian West and more for years, but the moment was an iconic one, the image making its way around the world within hours.
For Spring-Summer 2019, Smith’s women—and a few men—appear to be on the run, too. His opening look introduced a print comprised of vintage mugshots of female criminals, lending a touch of subversively dangerous old-school glamour to the body-baring silhouettes Smith has become known for.
Slinky slip dresses, skirts slit thigh-high and sheer bodysuits all heavily featured on Smith’s runway this season—as did travel; paired with several looks, the designer also debuted a collaboration with luggage maker Sprayground featuring rolling suitcases, hoodies, fanny packs and backpacks in the mugshot print, aptly titled “Scammer.”
Off the runway, one might envision layering Smith’s lacy lilac bustier beneath one of his strong-shouldered jackets for a touch of Studio 54-era realness. But like his work for Beyoncé, Smith knows how to capitalize on an iconic moment—and harness the power of social media. A ruffled red taffeta cutaway gown with a sweeping train worn by Winnie Harlow, instantly evoked our favourite dancing queen emoji, as she hit the runway in profile.
On the Run or on the runway, LaQuan Smith knows how to make an entrance.
Click on the gallery for the full runway showcase.