New York

Freewill Vintage Fashion Show: Magic of Vintage


Let’s ease into fashion week. Baby steps before we face the real mean girls. OK? Our first show was a humble effort put forth by a woman who calls herself “Monkey Queen” and has a dream for the future—something about saving the earth by wearing old clothes, or as she put it “We humans can only be happy when we build life, not when we destroy it.” The show featured clothes from Monkey Queen’s favorite vintage stores: Eva’s Vintage Collection, Chelsea Girl, Rue St. Denis, Circa Now, Tahir Boutique, and Cobblestones.


Good news, dear readers: We will be bringing a real photographer to many of the shows. (photo: Nina Lalli)

As the seats in St. Mark’s Church filled, I was reminded of attending dance performances and plays in school. There was a palpable nervous excitement in the room, of boyfriends getting their camera phones ready, and girls helping each other with their runway makeup. I looked up and saw a few of the models up in the balcony, dressed as if for a theme party, leaning over the rail to see the audience grow.

When they started coming down the runway, a few of them were literally shaking in their cowboy boots. There was a lot of lingerie, some fifties party dresses, a psychedelic jumpsuit, a few very brave men in crotch-hugging pants, and even some dogs being walked down the runway, to the thrill of the audience. Rather than design, this was a test of styling and attitude. In vintage clothing generally, the magic often comes in the combinations, if not the rareness of an item. Some of the pieces were so ordinary, especially a lot of the lingerie, that I wished they had played with it more, and matched it less. The best moments came when the styling was campy, or the models struck exaggerated, camera-loving poses.

Gift Bag: Small brown paper Aveda shopping bag—one scented candle from Aveda. and a coupon for bonus gifts at Aveda salonspa.

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