Word on the Street: WE ARE WHO WE ARE

vor 3 years

Sometimes the newest is not necessarily the best…

What I’m writing about isn’t new, and it’s not current. The series isn’t old, but it hasn’t exactly come out either. Still, I feel that too little has been said about it so far. That it hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.

Italian director Luca Guadagnino is well known for his features like Call Me by Your Name or Suspiria. For more than six years, he has worked together with costume designer Giulia Piersanti who, with her eye for ensembles, dresses Guadagnino’s characters extraordinarily. This week’s Style Appreciation is therefore dedicacated to the protagonist Fraser (played by Jack Dylan Grazer) of their new coming-of-age project We Are Who We Are that can be streamed on Amazon’s channel Starzplay. Set on a U.S. military base in Chioggia, Italy, the series narrates the difficult search for an unambiguous identity. It is about sexuality – but above all about what queer once was and is today.

When Fraser arrives at the US military base, everything seems different from his beloved hometown New-York. He and his family don’t fit in the place. His mother Sarah (Chloë Sevigny) is the base’s first female colonel, and she is also married to a woman. Even more than the commander, it’s Fraser who is noticable in an environment defined by strict expectations. The 14-year-old drinks too much, acts hyperactive and has a hard time to get along with the other teenagers. But then Fraser bumps into Caitlin (Jordan Kristine Seamón). Fraser wears blond hair, glaring outfits and painted fingernails. Caitlin sometimes puts on men’s shirts, hides her hair under a baseball cap, changes her voice and flirts with girls, renames herself to Harper on that occasion. As a little kid, she wanted to be Wolverine and he wanted to be Lady Gaga. A friendship begins and for one summer, the oppurtinities of life seem unlimited.

The hearts of those who know even a little bit about fashion will beat faster. Fraser’s grunge-chic aesthetic is characterized by a mix of styles and designers, ranging from Raf Simons to Supreme, Comme des Garçons, Celine, Vetements and Yohji Yamamoto. All of the pieces in his wardrobe are vintage purchases and archival pieces, carefully selected for what he wears together in a certain way. Fraser belongs to a generation where gender doesn’t matter and fashion is a very good way to express that. Oversized shirts and pants come in loud colors, prints are mixed and the color palette is very open. Fraser’s first look: a Raf Simons oversized T-shirt, with a girl print, combined with leopard pants. Another highlight: the Stripe Puffa Shirt Jacket by Vetements, paired with black Yamamoto pants and a Comme des Garçons shirt. Music is also immensely important here, and the soundtrack depicts Fraser’s personality: From his favorite band Blood Orange to Frank Ocean, the Smiths or the Rolling Stones.

In the end, everything in We Are Who We Are is different than you think. It’s not just black or white.

Words by Antonia Schmidt 

Image Courtesy of Amazon Starzplay and Yannis Drakoulidis

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