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Urban Plants take center stage at the Private Policy SS22 show

In an emotional return to the runway, Chinese-American Private Policy showed their SS 2022 collection in downtown Manhattan Friday morning. Siying Qu and Haoran Li presented a show that proved to be an excellent combination of what happens when you imagine club-kid inspired streetwear through the lens of the botanical world. In what turned out to be a beautiful meeting of minds, Submission Beauty was invited to participate and bring our interpretation of the theme, adding a flick of natural shine to their quietly powerful statement.

PHOTOGRAPHY TRAVIS BASS @travisthebass 
TEXT JESPER GUDBERGSEN @yessirjesper
MAKEUP ZENIA JAEGER @makeupbyzeniajaeger @streetersagency using Submission Beauty @submission.beauty
HAIR KIEN HOANG @kienhoang using @oribe
CASTING CHRISTIAN MESHESHA @c.m.casting
MAKEUP ASSISTANTS KATIE MANN @trippychickmakeup  ELIKA HILATA @elikahilata_makeup JASON CASE @makeupbyjcc NOLAN EAKIN @nolaneakin

The spring/summer Private Policy 2022 collection was solid proof that sometimes inspiration truly comes from the strangest of places and works wonders for a creative mind. 

Designer Siying Qu cites observing random weeds popping through the concrete sidewalks of New York City as one starting point of inspiration, another being the rise of plant-centric influencers on various social media platforms.  As many were confined to their homes for the majority of the last eighteen-or-so months. 

Qu and her Private Policy partner Li took part in observing how many city-dwellers learned to understand the beauty and importance of bringing nature and plants into their lives and wanted to explore the relationship between humans and plants – how plants are great for the city environment, but also wonderful for our mental health.

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She says it sparked a notion of wanting to bring this to her audience, making them think about how we may all coexist with nature much better in the future. As the designer noted a few days before the show:

 “From greenery-filled apartments to city community gardens, from the little leaves that strive to sprout between the interstices of concrete cracks to the grand plans for a future vertical-garden city, the relationship people have with these precious greens in urban settings is something to be in awe of. We want to celebrate this “green” trend and present its positive effect on mental health.”

As with every collection they’ve presented since the brands beginning in 2015, they chose a socio-political issue as the theme for their presentation. This season they produced a special t-shirt and a printed silk scarf, sales of which will raise money for the Liz Christy garden – New York City’s first communal garden and a pioneer of urban farming and city garden sanctuaries. 

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A delightful inspiration aside, Private Policy was wise to steer away from any literal references such as floral prints or shapes, instead opting for the colors of some of New York’s wildflowers as inspiration. This translated to a palette of calm, soft shades of lilac, sage, and sky blue, along with peaceful neutrals, such as greys and ivory whites.

The colors worked seamlessly with the palette of Submission Beauty Glitters, which key makeup artist Zenia Jaeger mixed in an exclusive array of combinations to suit each model’s skin tone and glow.

“It was clear to me that the casting played a very important part of this show” , says Jaeger. “It was truly a group of amazingly unique individuals and their diversity was brought front and center for this season. I wanted to be mindful of not interfering with that message, and let this group of talent shine to their full potential.

In a first for us at submission, I made custom blends of all of our shades, experimenting with color combinations that would make each individual sparkle to their full potential. After adding lots of shine and glow to their skin, we dusted each model with a unique glitter combination, bringing forth a luster that looked incredibly fresh to me.

I love playing with our glitter in this way: it’s a look that would feel over the top and very done-up with traditional glitter, but the way our plant-based glitter reflects light has a much more subtle elegance to it. It makes it feel light and natural while still feeling very quietly luxe.”