Both nights of Williamsburg Fashion Weekend were highly entertaining. The fashion show style differed from neighboring Manhattan’s fashion week in a refreshing, non-corporate, chill, handmade and environmentally friendly kind of way.
Here are a few highlights from the shows:
First up was an Andrea Diodati’s fairy kei collection, full of recycled materials & found objects. Everything from curtains, doilies, pillows, chenille bathrobes, crochet this&that and other unsuspected objects were found in this delightful collection of pink, baby-doll looks. The pink cotton candy hair w/rainbow highlights gave a serious nod to Marge Simpson in terms of height and playfulness. A few stand-out items were the spandex harem leggings, plush back-packs and jackets with “pillow” collars, giving a whole new meaning to the bed-jacket. Andrea, inspired by post-impressionist artist Henri De Toulouse-Lautrec’s “la Clownesse” (female clown), described it as David Bowie meets the Easter Bunny. The visuals were sweetheart candies for the eyes with girls dancing nymph-like to hypnotizing narration + midnight cowboy music (make that cow-girl).
Mark Tauriello’s inspiration was VHS culture and 80s slasher movies. The cover art from these original VHS movies were used to morph unfriendly characters like Jason, Freddie and Michael into digital color fantastical labyrinths printed on fabric, lending an almost Givenchy aesthetic. An equally animated Mark called his line “the baby of Freddie Krueger and Debbie Harry”. The result was totally original graphic prints that you wouldn’t mind owning at least one. Memorable accessories were cool flashlight headgear, Wilma Flintstones-looking necklaces and of course purses assembled from VHS cases. Braided Madmax hairstyles and heavy brows completed the look.
Hannah Peyser, designer of Restler, joined the show at the last minute and really turned it out. Bug prints and paint-splatters in electric pop colors added a great graphic element to the otherwise all-black line. The hardware was well composed onto garments, such as punk studded collars and metal collar corners posted in unique places. Hannah made use of bamboo organic cotton fabrics, producing a nature-friendly yet modern line. The designs were edgy, clean and sleek with a 90s feeling, yet very commercial.
Born in the toe of Italy’s boot, Marco Santaniello took an anarchist approach to fashion. Marco showcased an array of colorful oversized sweatshirts with messages on beetlejuice-styled models. The end of each message was cleverly completed on message T-skirts (Marco’s patented creation), such as “YOU ARE TOO” (on top) “HIGH” (on skirt), or “KETCHUP SOON” (top) “SWAG” (on skirt). Messages like “FASHION WEAK” “NEW YORK” seem to project Marco’s feelings about the big fashion event in NYC, in an albeit campy playful way. Stuffed Donald Duck & panda bears and shiny pleather pacman & cartoon eyeballs were appliqued onto sweatshirts, reminiscent of the Tokyo street shots seen in FRUiTS magazine. When I asked Marco what he did for work, he responded that he gets money from his mom and dad…but that he is also a graphic pop artist.
Bulgarian designer Nathalie Kraynina’s “dark side” theme featured a seasonally appropriate color palette of black, mustard yellow and purple. Nathalie called her ready-to-wear line a “cross between Chanel and the Rolling Stones,” pairing feathers & studs with plaid wool tweed skirts in modern silhouettes. Nathalie’s well-constructed outerwear pieces were especially noteworthy, mixing multi-media fabrics such as leather with fur backs, including the reversed mullet style vest (shorter in the back, longer in the front). Model’s faces were fused with black lace and meticulously positioned up-do’s, rounding-out a sophisticated polished look.
Laura Brook Texter showed sexy dresses with long strips, giving a fringed effect, in electric pop colors grounded with black. A striking blonde young man played the Theremin while models sauntered around the stage, adding a nice theatrical effect.
Stephanie Hinson, a regular at Williamsburg Fashion Week, designed trend-right drapey dresses in royal blue, emerald green, black & white floral prints all grounded with black. Throughout the collection, Stephanie utilized color-block details and chic sheath shapes. A showstopper piece was the black fringe dress with the how-low-can-you-go back cowl.
Most memorable about Uta Brauser’s over-the-top show were her unusual headpieces. Taxidermied fox heads, stuffed bird claws and knitted plastic bag caps were some of the outrageous delights made with humor & originality for your melon.
See more photos on Marofoto.