We already knew Grace Dunham, Lena Dunham’s 23-year-old sibling, was awesome in *their own right. They’re an activist, an actor (remember Tiny Furniture? And their upcoming role on the next season of Girls?) and an award-winning poet already. But as of Monday, they’re also a veteran model of New York Fashion Week, walking for label Eckhaus Latta. The brainchild of RISD grads Mike Eckhaus and Zoe Latta, the line debuted in 2011 and continues to draw praise for slick, post-gender-esque threads – not to mention its owners’ emphasis on sustainability and the use of trans models and non-model civilians in progressive, artsy runway shows, one of which involved knocking down a sheetrock wall last season.
Grace’s previous modeling work includes a 2013 Rachel Antonoff campaign, but this week’s spring 2016 ready-to-wear show undeniably marks a new era in their burgeoning career, featuring a badasss blonde buzzcut, a mesh shirt, and the fiercest runway swagger I’ve seen to date. I’m not even using the word “fierce” in the fashion-y sense of the term, a la Christian Siriano. I’m using it in the mold-breaking, shit-stomping, ass-kicking sense of the term, a la Charlize Theron in Mad Max: Fury Road.
I have watched this Instagram clip approximately fifty times and it has yet to become less magnetic and compelling. I’m all for the slinky panther strut of models like Karlie Kloss, but this was a refreshing, gender-nonconforming break to say the least – and in this industry, such breaks are desparately needed.
In a post-show interview with ELLE, Grace gave us some deets about their journey down the catwalk.
“I didn't have my glasses on, so I couldn't see anything, so not much [was going on in my head]. I was trying to think about what Mike said. He was like, 'Chain from the top of your head to the ceiling, shoulders back, walking like you're like you're listening to music and no one can fuck with your zone.' So I was just trying to heed his advice. And I was like, I walk like a boy, but my huge tits are out, so I was just thinking about that dissidence."
Grace’s tweets are similarly pithy and full of truth and wonderful, so follow them if you do nothing else right today.
* In recent posts on Lena Dunham's Instagram (here, here, here) and Slutever.com, Grace has used the pronouns "they" and "them." We're doing the same.
Images via Vogue and Instagram