Fashion / Style

Stars From Netflix’s Cheer Turn Brandon Maxwell’s Fashion Week Show Into a Reality Blast

When Texas Takes Over the New York Runway

BY // 02.10.20

NEW YORK — Fashion shows are usually quiet affairs (except when Leslie Jones is around) but Brandon Maxwell’s Texas pals found a lot to cheer about when the Longview native debuted his fall ’20 collection at the American Museum of National History’s Hall of North American Mammals.

As the first model appeared on the runway in black satin slacks and a midriff-exposing cape fastened at the neck, the section filled with friends, family and fans from the Lone Star State hooped and hollered, led by two of the breakout stars of the Netflix series, Cheer, Gabi Butler and Lexi Brumback.

The Corsicana-based Navarro College cheerleaders, who have become social media darlings, spouted nonstop “mat talk” throughout the fashion show — with such comments as  “Oh, you got this” and “You’re beautiful” — and drew smiles and winks from several of the male models who sported designs from Maxwell’s expanded menswear collection.

The 35-year-old designer also offered his take on sophisticated womenswear, with shiny liquid gazaar dresses and skirts in a tortoise shell pattern, plush cashmere coats, turtlenecks and tailored trousers in winter white, crisp tweed blazers, unadorned body-hugging dresses and button-down shirts with tight denim jeans tucked into knee-high riding boots.

For evening, Maxwell offered a range of styles, from an ab-revealing crop top with a flowing drop-waist skirt to a flowing red chiffon gown that he designed to celebrate the museum’s upcoming exhibition, The Nature of Color. (The women’s collection is available in Houston at Elizabeth Anthony.)

The menswear looks had the same level of detail, with such standouts as velvet double-breasted blazers, leather bomber jackets, alpaca topcoats, and an army green flight suit with coordinating trench. Tortoise fanny packs styled as cross body bags and knit beanies accessorized several of the men’s and women’s looks.

With dioramas of Alaskan brown bears, herds of bison, jaguars, and deer scattered throughout the hall, the atmosphere was a bit surreal for a fashion show, which was enhanced by the cheerleading smack talk. But Maxwell brought everyone back to earth as his entire design and sewing team — several in tears — came out with him at the end to take a well-deserved bow.

This time, the cheering was unanimous. Even the often frosty fashion crowd warmly joined in.

Part of the Special Series:

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