TrueYou: the Beginning of the End

Following the motto “the future is something you create”, TrueYou showed to the audience that the influence of artificial intelligence is in our hands. On September 16, 2023, the fashion and lifestyle label presented its new collection at MQ VIENNA FASHION WEEK.23. This was their ninth fashion show and their second to last, as it marked the “beginning of the end—not only of our show at Fashion Week but possibly also where the world is heading,” said Ilja Jay Lawal, one of the founders of TrueYou, in an interview. This served as inspiration for their new collection.

The lights dimmed, the whispers fell silent, and the film began, just like in a movie theater. The atmosphere in the audience was tense, filled with anticipation for the TrueYou show, yet also somber. The footage showed technical devices and a woman alone in a house in the mountains; it seemed to be dark and cold. The mood was bleak. The footage depicted our future, a future shaped by artificial intelligence, which is used in a way in which it diminishes human life.

With the words “we’ve seen something you haven’t seen yet: the beginning of the end,” the first model confidently stepped onto the catwalk and opened the show. This year’s TrueYou collection once again combines different materials, such as silk, coated shiny fabrics, soft down, or cotton. It’s the details that gave the pieces a futuristic touch. Almost all pants had vertical zip closures or side pockets and were made from loose, flowing fabrics.

Diagonals and corners added a rounded look created by the oversized cuts, giving them a certain something. The unique collars, often padded or exceptionally high to cover the face, drew all eyes in the MQVFW.23 audience. A voluminous black stole made of shiny soft down adorned the neck of a model wearing a long-sleeved, transparent silk T-shirt. The colors were mainly dark, except for occasional white-black or silver pieces. A knee-length, glossy black coat with a silver marbled pattern and a dark silver toga generated immense excitement among the audience. Throughout the entire show, you could repeatedly hear the words “the future is something you create.”

Ski-goggle-like glasses as well as sunglasses from FR!TZ Eyewear complemented the extravagant looks. Heads were not only covered by oversized hoods but also by caps with the white inscription “True”, which concealed the face with tulle attached to the front, and black Chinese hats with a total of four knee-length silk threads attached. One of the highlights was the cropped tin-colored sweater speckled with white paint, seamlessly transitioning into a beekeeper’s hat with a veil covering the face.

The ninth TrueYou fashion show was also crowned with great success, and even as they reinvented themselves, the designers remained true to their roots. The label’s original source of inspiration was Paris, the atmosphere, the people, the architecture, but above all, the vibe that one can feel in the city. So, does the last TrueYou fashion show on September 14, 2024, mark the end of this unique label? “We intentionally left that open… When you do something repeatedly over the years, there comes a point where you want to open a new chapter”, Lawal expressed in the interview. Whether this chapter includes TrueYou, we will probably only find that out in a year.

© Dana Tolesh; Backstage

© Dana Tolesh; Backstage

© Thomas Lerch; The futuristic look of the silver toga was accentuated by the model’s extravagant hairstyle.
© Thomas Lerch; The FR!TZ Eyewear glasses complemented the new TrueYou collection perfectly. The outwardly flaring coats gave the oversized outfits that certain wow effect.
© Thomas Lerch; One of the highlights was the tummy-baring pewter-coloured jumper, flecked with
white paint, which blended seamlessly into a beekeeper’s hat with a veil in front of the face.
© Thomas Lerch; Padded collars, trousers in flowing materials adorned with zip fastenings and
the TrueYou logo on the back of the coat were common throughout the show this year.
© Thomas Lerch; A special highlight was the short-sleeved, shiny black coat, decorated with a silver
marbled pattern and the logo on the back.

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