New York

Bridge Work: Fashion Indie Week Brooklyn Kicks Off

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all photos by Sam Horine. designer above by Love Brigade

The Fashion Indie Week Brooklyn folks said their “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” show would turn the Brooklyn Bridge into “six thousand feet of runway.” Well, yes and no. There were models and they did credibly work the wooden-planked walkway. But though we’re not fashion reporters, as will soon become evident, we do know that models don’t usually share their catwalk with speeding bicyclists, tourists, joggers, and weary commuters.

These models did, though, and looked pretty undisturbed through it all, though we imagine years spent among hovering shutterbugs are good training for maintaining one’s moue in the midst of rush hour traffic.

The event, held yesterday around quitting time, was a kickoff for a week of shows, many of them, oddly for the theme, located in Manhattan. Maybe the most Brooklyn thing about it, not to say the most indie, was that, like the borough across the water, the designers are up and comers who have up and come a bit already but still have plenty of jam. I’m new at this.

Take Cassie Kogler, pictured here with an avatar of her New York Couture. She’s already been seen in Elle and Nylon, and worn by Leelee Sobieski and Vanessa Simmons (Reverend Run’s daughter). What’s her line? “Pastels, punk rock, Marie Antoinette,” she streamed, “Very Japan, really out of controlness.” “Rock goddess and fairy princess,” whispered the press release. At the end of Kogler’s leash was Pippy, a chihuahua. Among the guests at her September 10 fete at Mansion will be “Amy Winehouse’s best friend.” Should be fun!

Or take Rachel Antonoff, who unfortunately has no show at this FIWB, having too recently divested from the Mooka Kinney house to present yet. But she specializes in “vintage inspired looks” that “play with girly flirtatious day dresses,” says the presser, though Rachel herself seems more down to earth than that — she actually lives in Brooklyn, Carroll Gardens specifically, and has used the Bridge for commuting purposes on her blue Schwinn, which has a bell that she uses “frequently,” so she was in some sympathy with the bikers who seemed discomfited with all the extra pedestrian traffic and was relieved there “didn’t seem to be any bicycle rage.” Though she’s been in Teen Vogue and Barney’s as a former Mook, Antonoff is presently churning out couture the old fashioned way, on her own, with dressmakers “contracted via Craigslist.”

In keeping with the Brooklyn vibe there was a family business: San & Soni, aka Inderieet and Sonali Singh (that’s Soni trying to find her “upper-end contemporary and entry level designers teir sportwear” in the thickening crowd). San and Soni met at FIT, “shared the same dream,” married after school and united their “mutual understanding of clothes and concepts” as S&S. We asked for keywords. “Urban chic,” said Soni. “New York downtown girl. Effortless.” “Unexpected details,” added San. “Unexpected placement.” The spring collection was “very neutral, beige, champagne, ivory, black.” Their fall collection was also v. neutral etc., but with unexpected detail etc. Fortunately for us all, my pen ran out of ink.

That was bracing. Now back to crime, politics, and two-headed turtles.

(You can see more of Sam’s photos of this event here.)

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