Riding on the coattails of New York Fashion Week comes Williamsburg's homegrown Fashion Weekend, now in its 8th season. The Billyburg plays host to a handful of young and emerging designers and brands who practice and promote "green" fashion philosophies—think upcycling, local sourcing and production, and artisan works. As can be expected from an eccentric neighborhood that has managed to carve its own widely recognized sartorial niche, the shows and the clothes themselves are eclectic, experimental, and (dare we say it?) downright weird at times, but a few have managed to catch our eye with their easy yet hip wearability. We scoured through the rags, spikes and spandex of the last season to ferret out the noteworthy names you should be donning. When you do, expect to get double takes, and not necessarily those of the "What the **** is she wearing?" variety.
Campaz's fine arts background (he is a graduate of Cooper Hewitt) shows in the clean lines and graphics of his Brooklyn-based label. Take a quick peek at his Etsy shop (he also sells at designer and vintage market Artists and Fleas) and you'll probably end up purchasing one of his color-blocked raglan-sleeved sweatshirts that catch the eye even when they're tiny thumbnails on your screen. The same threads can be found on the band members of Sports, who Campaz outfitted in their video "Lawyers Singing Sweetly." We don't know what the Colombian-born designer will be showing for his latest collection but if the home page on his site is any indication, we'll be seeing more of his trademark color pops and geometrics on maillots and trunks. We like! Nathalie Kraynina
Kraynina has come a long way from her Crayola-colored doodles when she was a mere six year-old tot. Case in point: her "Streets of New York" collection, a smart, sophisticated selection of wool gabardine separates and leather trimmed suits paired with airy silk chiffon blouses that high-powered working girls and trendsetting chicks alike will covet. The FIT graduate trained with Badgley Mischka and Michael Kors before launching her own ready-to-wear line. Expect more beautiful pieces at her first fashion show this weekend. La China Loca
We've heard of career switches but Anastasia Andino took it to a whole new level. After a tragic loss at a 2008 tournament, the former arm wrestling champion and fitness trainer took up millinery at FIT and eventually launched her own business. Arm wrestling's loss is fashion's gain because La China's chapeaus are absolutely gorge, no surprise considering everything is handmade in her Brooklyn atelier. Standouts from her fall '11 collection include headpieces clustered with leather rosettes and a rouge Robin Hood-inspired topper. She also accepts handmade orders which usually take two weeks to make. We can attest that Andino is not mad, but she is definitely one mod hatter.