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Williamsburg Fashion Weekend Kick-Off Pary
May 4, 2007
Secret Project Robot
210 Kent Avenue


Written by Janet Perisa




Photographed by Melinda McLean

Walking down Metropolitan Avenue to the Williamsburg Fashion Weekend kick-off party felt like an eerie trek through an industrial ghost town. There were no lights, no cameras, or any signs of human occupancy; the graffiti-drizzled facades and glittering trails of broken glass looked long abandoned by some nomadic, hipster tribe. The destination was the Secret Project Robot gallery, and if not for the clusters of bicycles that surrounded this clandestine space on Kent Street, no one would guess that a party (much less a fashion show) was taking place within its brick walls. But despite the dark, anarchistic streets surrounding the tiny venue, inside was a circus-style tribute to Williamsburg’s idiosyncratic fashions.


Photographed by Melinda McLean

Williamsburg’s Treehouse and Sodafine boutiques teamed up with some of the neighborhood’s local artists and designers to host what is hoped to be an annual event in bringing the works of young emerging talent into the spotlight. Behind the gallery, spectators gathered to watch a pixie-clad performer twirl her firing baton while a diva on stilts grooved and hovered over the mesmerize crowd. Inside, animal floats and streamers brightened the minimal walls as the spirited guests danced around the gallery in "style." Ethereal campfire hymns sung by Mary Pearson (of the chiming electronic duo High Places) added to this cheerful dynamic of fashion and art. “We wanted to test the idea and see how it went, and judging by the turn-out, we’ll probably have another [Fashion Weekend] next year,” said Erin Weckerle of Sodafine boutique.

Later that evening, belly dancer Trisha McBride showcased her clothing line in true burlesque fashion. The guests touted tribal yells at the shimmying, belly-bearing gals as they glided through the crowd and onto the stage’s wood floor. The eclectic models danced to the sinister lyrics of Nina Simone’s "Pirate Jenny," while wearing McBride’s willowy fashions, which are best described as a meeting between Ali Baba and Cyd Charisse. After the final bow, McBride and the models flagged guests onto the dance floor to join them in the sultry movements of this ancient Middle Eastern art form. While this was not one of the more conventional fashion events (with runway platforms, velvet rope hounds, and the blinding flashes of the paparazzi), it was certainly one of the most creative and one that will hopefully thrive in the coming years.

 

Stilted Lady
Photographed by Melinda McLean
Fortune Teller
Photographed by Melinda McLean
Partygoer
Photographed by Melinda McLean
Partygoer
Photographed by Melinda McLean
Women at Party
Photographed by Melinda McLean
Model at Party
Photographed by Melinda McLean

 


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