Groovy Armor: Nile Cmylo’s MERMAIDPUNK™ AW18/19 NYFW Presentation at the Chelsea Hotel. By Glenn Belverio


Dear Shaded Viewers,

When I arrived with my MoMA colleagues at one of my favorite places in the world— designer Nile Cmylo’s studio apartment in the Chelsea Hotel—this past Friday evening, the dynamic dressmaker was incandescent with joy.

“Mueller just indicted thirteen Russians for interfering in the election!” she announced, as she brandished a cocktail shaker the size of a decommissioned hydrogen bomb. She proceeded to shake up a batch of “Nile-gronis” (a potent variation on the Negroni that’s not for sissies), and as the ice ricocheted around the inside of the stainless steel vessel, the topic among the assembled celebrants shifted with lightning speed to celebrity news to NY Fashion Week updates to art-world gossip and back again to politics. The drinks were served and, as the welcome head-kick took hold, we turned our attention to the reason for this gathering: Nile’s latest fashion collection, MERMAIDPUNK™.



“My Fall-Winter 18/19 capsule collection was created while still reeling from the cloud that has swept the nation since 11/9—a year and third ago, and no coincidence to me that it mirrors 9/11,” Nile told me over the phone the next day as I lie on my fainting sofa, nursing my hangover.

“I reverted to a childhood passion of arts and crafts and soothed myself with patent leather and sequins. I dyed, sewed sequins, cut patent leather flowers and just played with fun materials. Topping a few dresses are leather helmets with feathered mohawks: Beauty compressed under the crushing misogyny of this administration created the warrior helmets and a flower-power armor dress. Feminine power weaponized against men in power desperately keeping their cis white male privilege at the expense of the American Dream.”




“Work horse” Nile Cmylo’s “show ponies.”


“Beauty compressed under the crushing misogyny of this administration created the warrior helmets and a flower-power armor dress.” —Nile Cmylo



Catherine Talese channeled a Klimt as she communed with Jezebel on her thoughts about entering the Year of the Dog.



Va-va-voom! Studio 54 legend Snoogy Brown makes her entrance.



Tough Texan Erin Holland wants you to know she loves NY.



Catherine Talese wields her cosmic powers.





I officially/legally launched my trademark MERMAIDPUNK™ today,” Nile told me on Monday afternoon. This involved paying a fee and a picture of my hang tag in use. This makes me strangely happy. I’ve been designing and executing clothing my entire life—a gift to still love my craft.”


Thank you for reading.


Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio

Glenn Belverio is a writer and New Yorker. He has been reporting for ASVOF since 2005 and currently works at The Museum of Modern Art as the Content Manager for MoMA Design Store.