There are few better signs that you picked the right thing to wear to an event than walking in and finding that the designer of your clothes went with the same choice. While normally finding your twin out in public is an annoyance, at Williamsburg Fashion Weekend it’s a sign of maturity: styles incubated in their most intense forms on the stage here bleed onto the bodies in the crowd and out the doors towards the street.
In the most recent occurrence of the biannual show this past Friday and Saturday, the scene opened with terse, politically pointed words from charismatic frontman Arthur Arbit: it’s simply not possible to come home from H&M or Bloomingdale’s with a $29 blouse without slave-like labor being involved in some stage of that supply chain. He then quickly stepped aside to show us several dreams and a couple nightmares of the alternative. Selected photos are below, but you can find my full gallery from the first night here.
The first showing of the night was Uta Brauser (photos in gallery) with her Got Armor? collection. Meant to be a critique of modern gun violence, the stylish vests and shields of this collection are perhaps too plausible, and I loved the image of models pantomiming classic runway moves as they deflected the on-stage barrage of (soft foam) bullets. Continue reading →
As a designer in the fashion industry, I’ve seen my share of clothing manufacturing factories abroad, including India, China and Hong Kong. Aside from them being often pretty depressing places, it’s such a shame these great jobs have left New York City, where they existed for years. I’m very glad to see this effort to bring home the production aspect of the business to Brooklyn.
Ms. Bob Bland has founded Manufacture New York and is launching a Kickstarter project to provide independent designers with affordable local production, along with a launch party on Monday, Oct 15th at Brooklyn Farmacy. The intent is to raise “public awareness of exactly how clothes are made, and provide both consumers & designers with an alternative to outsourcing.” Her idea is to enable independent fashion designers to expand their abilities, skills and resources while keeping everything local. Pretty cool, right?
Here are some of the amazing features the planned industrial space will provide:
Our headquarters will include a fully-equipped sampling room, innovative manufacturing facilities, classroom space (open to the public), private studios for rent and a state-of-the art computer lab complete with the industry’s latest software for design & production. We will also offer a dedicated area for experimentation with environmentally-friendly fabric washes, dyeing, finishes and special textile applications.
Join us at Brooklyn Farmacy in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn on Monday, October 15th from 7-9pm for our launch party. It’s totally open to the public & kid-friendly, just RSVP HERE. There will be live music, a benefit raffle of premium Brooklyn Royalty tees, sewing demos and delicious artisanal sodas & sundaes like “The Elvis”. We suggest a $5 donation (goes directly to our Kickstarter campaign) and indie designers can apply for early membership on-site! We are also sponsoring the Gowanus Girls Indie Design & Food Market on Saturday, October 13th & 27th, so meet us there & find out more.