This weekend (February 13, 2016) I had the opportunity to assist backstage at the Pyer Moss AW16 Fashion show "Double Bind" presented by designer Kerby Jean-Raymond and styled by singer Erykah Badu. A double bind is an emotionally distressing dilemma in communication in which an individual (or group) receives two or more conflicting messages, and one message negates the other. The show addressed a powerful message regarding the issue of depression and mental issues, which is often "swept under the rug" in black culture.
"I think the whole world is depressed," Badu told Huffington Post, but noted that she hasn't personally suffered from any type of clinical depression. "We mask it in different ways -- technology is one of the ways we've found as a group to mask it. Normal bouts of depression are very common -- for all of us -- and we don’t really discuss it and talk about it, we just kind of numb it some kind of way.”
The models were accessorized in police/chauffeur style hats, fitted with buttons reading names of various medications such Prozac, Xanax, and Lean; while walking to a choir composed of classically trained opera singers performing operatic renditions of popular hip-hop songs such as Fetty Wap’s “RGF Island” and Future’s “Trap N-----”
The show ended with the last model walking out holding a sign that read: “My demons won today. I’m sorry.” That was the last Facebook status shared by MarShawn M. McCarrel II, a Black Lives Matter activist and founder of Pursuing Our Dreams, who killed himself outside the Ohio Statehouse on Monday.