With artists relocating to Bushwick and beyond, bubble tea chains popping up next door to indie boutiques like Jumelle, and penthouse dwelling NYUers eating sushi on the same street that once housed the notorious Cokey's bar, Williamsburg just ain't what it used to be. So, this weekend's Williamsburg Fashion Week—held at Monster Island's experimental art space Secret Project Robotcan and presenting the eco-friendly, one-of-a-kind or small run collections of eight local designers— felt a tad…out of place. Surrounded by empty condos with the echos of the crashing economy all around, the Saturday night group of designers—Treehouse Brooklyn, Sodafine, and Dear Birthday—assembled their best DIY 'tudes and friends for a relaxed fashion show that celebrated, "the handmade and the visionary," as a folksy, girly spread of champagne bottles under a banner proclaiming "The sky is falling…let's have a picnic!"
Siri Wilson, a Williamsburg resident of 11 years, owner of Treehouse Brooklyn, and designer of house brand Sirius said, "We sell both $200 dresses and small handmade items by local designers. Our customers are those who are involved with or interested in supporting the Brooklyn art scene. Some indie stores are going gangbusters at the moment. People are being a little more selective, newcomers are trying to find their style, wanting something unique and to fit in with the local scene." She adds " When people are poor, the art is good, or at least that's the idea. It's going to be a tough ride, it's scary." Now if the new wave of Brooklyn dwellers can't quite capture the soul of the 'burg they can at least purchase the look.
Photos by Sarah Maher and Adrienne Cohen.