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Brooklyn Fashion Week(end)
Featuring Designers: Beverly Bond; Catou; Molly Spinach; Sena; Simon Duncan; and Joan Vacciana.
March 18, 2007
Borough Hall
Brooklyn, New York

Written by Allison Ford

Photographed by Katherin Wermke

Opposite Photo
Designer Joan Vacciana


Brooklyn the borough might be thought of by some as a poor imitation of Manhattan, but that definitely doesn't apply to Brooklyn Fashion Week(end). The 2nd Annual event, held at Borough Hall on March 18th., celebrates Brooklyn-based designers with an event that's just as vibrant and creative as Fashion Week in Bryant Park. Five designers were featured, each hailing from the borough, and their individual sensibilities reflected a broader, more whimsical approach to fashion. The invitation-only event catered to a sophisticated, multi-cultural urban crowd who watched live R&B and soul performances by Nefatari, Reina, and Ishe while they sipped complimentary Stoli cocktails during the cocktail hour that preceded the shows.

The designs shown at Brooklyn Fashion Week(end) represented many different styles. Far from being Manhattan cast-offs, the designers stayed true to their Brooklyn roots and embodied a funkier, more "street" feel without being ghetto-fabulous. Although obviously influenced by the early 80's music and fashion scene, the designers appealed to customers who are not swayed by logos or hip-hop video vixens.

Catou Catou
Catou Catou

The designs presented ran the spectrum from romantic and dance-inspired to precisely-tailored. The collection by Catou was by far the standout of the evening, evoking a 40's-era feel while also incorporating a modern take on blurred gender lines. The women's collection was tailored and aggressive, with suiting in the style of Katharine Hepburn as well as evening gowns fit for the Supper Club. The mens' pieces were unexpectedly soft and feminine, featuring touches such as pink cravats and ascots. Most of the suiting shown, in fact, somehow used pink, including pink twill trousers and jacket. The liberal use of pink in the mens' line was fresh and unexpected, as were urban touches such as soft scarves and hats. The entire collection's clean, pressed look was exceptional and sharp, while still retaining relaxed urban touches such as the hand-knit accessories.

All of the designers showing at Brooklyn Fashion Week(end) represented different points of view, from the flirty separates of Molly Spinach to the textured, ethnic pieces presented by Sena. The purpose of the event was not only to showcase the designers, but also to build a sense of community in the borough as a whole. The designers weren't far-out "Project Runway" rejects. In fact, Catou in particular could easily have shown at Bryant Park, and brings a much-needed dose of color and fun to menswear. Joan Vacciana showed a collection that prominently displayed poet sleeves, empire waists, and organza ruffles, many of which were paired with tailored pencil skirts and graphic tees, used for a modern, romantic Victorian effect.

Modesty was definitely the word of the day, with many of the designers preferring high ruffled necklines and demure, ladylike silhouettes. Many of the designers also incorporated military detailing, either in the form of belted, high-necked jackets or high-waisted trousers in heavy, utilitarian fabrics.

While not every garment was a hit, and not every collection was perfectly wearable, the event served to shine the spotlight on talented designers who, hopefully, will soon have much broader renown. The designs have huge appeal for the hip, fashion-conscious urbanite who wants to find something special and unique. The next time you go into a small neighborhood boutique, no matter what borough you're in, keep your eyes peeled.

Sena Sena
Sena Sena
Sena Sena
Sena Sena
Joan Vacciana Joan Vacciana
Joan Vacciana Joan Vacciana
Joan Vacciana Joan Vacciana


Joan Vacciana

Simon Duncan Simon Duncan
Simon Duncan Simon Duncan
Simon Duncan Simon Duncan
Simon Duncan Simon Duncan Himself
Molly Spinach Molly Spinach
Molly Spinach Model and Molly Spinach
Beverly Bond Beverly Bond
Beverly Bond Beverly Bond

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