No, kids, it's not a debutant ball for celestial lifeforms. It's not a bourgeoisie stargazing festival, and nobody is auctioning off the moon. Lunar Gala (LG) is Carnegie Mellon University's student-produced fashion show, devoted to all things visually provocative, and it celebrated 20 years of avant-garde design this past weekend.
If you don't go to Carnegie Mellon, you may have heard about this elite spectacle from a gang of Koreans smoking cigarettes outside of an overpriced thrift shop. I can't tell you their sources, but they always know what's up. If you do go to Carnegie Mellon, then you probably recognize Lunar Gala to be the most well oiled machine on campus (sorry, robotics department). You're also likely preparing for the monsoon of LG photos that will be storming your news feeds in the next coming weeks. Brace for the flood.
Lunar Gala is always an unparalleled visual miracle, and this year was no exception. Saturdays can be hectic though, so don't fret if you slept through the alarm on your phone or if you just didn't have enough spare coin to secure a ticket. Take my hand and let me take you through the magic carpet ride that was this year's LG show, Strain.
Lunar Gala 2016 opened up with an impressive display of what you might see if you grew the bubonic plague's trendy older sister in a petri dish for a few months. Their optics are always stelar, but this year I seriously felt as though I was losing my grip on reality. The two are hopefully correlated.
The theme this year was "Strain," defined as the evolution of a form in response to pressure, tension, and constriction in order for an organism to survive.
Appropriately enough, the first line out of the gates transported you to the year 3016 with "Polymorphism," by Richard Chou and Katherine Zhao. Humans finally died out, and the only surviving species seems to be a hybrid between bicycle spokes and those fish you see when you accidentally scuba dive into another dimension.
The next line, "Cymatics," by Anna Gusman and Ariana Nathani looked like some almighty deity picked up a pair of scissors and decided to make snowflakes for an arts and crafts fair.
Cymatics also featured this unearthly dress that I've been dreaming about with troubling intensity. Am I hungry? Am I in love? I just want to put my hands on it.
"The Barracks," by Linny Tan took over next to explore the role of androgyny in fashion. The models themselves were only on stage for a few minutes, but their legs went on for days.
"Imperatrice," by Angela Liang, Shannon Lin, and Hilary Lai celebrated the only woman to rule China, Wu Zetian. All hail.
"Corpus," by Rachel Chang and Christine Shen played with vulnerability and protection in relationships, but more importantly included this awesome dress made entirely out of hair. Is it definitely barbie hair? Probably not. Do I want to rub my sticky candy fingers all over it until it's a matted mess like I did to my old barbies? Hell yeah.
Intermixed with these lines were three incredible dances and video commentary by producers, designers, and models. Truly, it's a group effort that always allows the LG experience to be so encompassing and professional.
There. Almost like you were there, isn't it? Ultimately, Lunar Gala is spectacular every year because of all these passionate Carnegie Mellon students that come together to prove one thing; that they're way cooler than everyone else. There's no motivator more powerful, besides maybe a swank new profile picture.