Fashion Yin and Yang
by Sarah Frances Kuhn
Details are below
Really, really, I'm not as stuck up as everyone thinks.
Hold on there sweetie, what makes you think I'm
even looking at you.
how cute, a fiesty one. Cut the act and I might just
surprise you with a little treat.
4. Well alright, I like surprises.
It is so nice to finally
Hi my name is Tim and it's...no,
no, no that sounds so lame.
Um, let's see, 1 bag, 2 bag, 3 bag.
Is he still following me? I wish
he'd just introduce himself already.
9. Hi my name is Tim and it's really
nice to MEAT you.
Ahh TOPS, our neighborhood grocer!
The infinite struggle of dynamic opposites that maintain
the balance of the New York fashion universe
Last week there was a ruckus that occurred at the corner
of Bedford and North Fifth when the fashion circus came
to town. A slew of high-paid models, producers, production
assistants, caterers, stylists, hairstylists, makeup artists
and photographers littered the area in order to craft a
commercial for the multi-million dollar enterprise, Macy's
department store. The scene was both intriguing and disturbing.
For me, it provided yet another glimpse of the inherent
superficiality of today's corporate fashion world. The Williamsburg
fashion fortress was being invaded by the very forces of
mainstream mediocrity that unintentionally inspired its
construction in the first place.
The real models of forward fashion sat nearby in the Verb
Cafe, drinking their coffee with a blend of amusement and
embarrassment as young frisky fashion models giggled, pranced,
and paraded themselves about wearing high-priced designer
clothes with the heart of our neighbourhood as a backdrop.
At one point, the pretty girls and boys clapped and bopped
along to music provided by Earwax, innocently making references
to a time when teens had just discovered rock, roll and
rebellion. I am guessing the organizers wanted to infuse
something creative and fresh into their products. The neat
and calculated planning of such a scene right in Williamsburg's
backyard made me stop and think; is Williamsburg a sub-cultural
community formed around certain ideals of fashion and aesthetic
sensibilities that will stand up against this attempted
assimilation or just a transient playland that will eventually
rot and decay like Coney Island?
If you want to see the true inhabitants of Williamsburg,
you may have to escape the catwalk of Bedford Avenue. United
Bamboo and Clarendon can both be found off the beaten path
on North 6th. And, if we go to the local supermarket, Tops
on the Waterfront (on North 6th as well) pick up a colorful
basket on our way in, glance at the notice board ('merengue
cabaret','room available for recording studio') and take
a look at the customers down the aisles, we will see that
even when they are doing something mundane, the local Williamsburg
residents have styles that are the substantial evidence
of an aestheticized lifestyle. In the chilled meat and dairy
section the bubble reappears around this microcosm of Williamsburg
where experimental fashion seems safe and real again and
the armies to the West have retreated, at least through
CREDITS AND INFORMATION:
1. Steph's skirt is by United Bamboo. Everything
else is from her own closet.
2. Mikal's pink shirt is by Clarendon. The other
stuff belongs to him.
3. Stephanie wears a skirt by United Bamboo. The
rest of the clothes are her own.
4. Mikal's shirt is by Clarendon. Steph wears her
5. Mikal wears a Clarendon shirt and Stephanie still
has on the same United Bamboo skirt with her own clothes.
United Bamboo and Clarendon shirts can be found at
ISA 88 N 6th Street Brooklyn, NY 11211
6. Tim wears shirt by Matt Made in the U.S.A.
7. Jenny wears shirts by Clarendon and Taavo
8. Tim is wearing a shirt made by Matt Made in the
Jenny is wearing a shirt by Taavo.
9. Tim is wearing the Matt Made in the U.S.A. shirt
still and Jenny is in the Taavo shirts that also have sayings
such as 'Dependently Wealthy' and 'Destroy Electroclash'
or he can also do any saying that you ever dreamed of having
on an inside out second-hand t-shirt.
10. Tim is in a Matt made in the U.S.A top and Jenny
is in a Taavo shirt. The rest of their clothes are their
STYLING: Sarah Frances Kuhn
CONCEPT: Sarah Frances Kuhn and Todd Netter
PHOTOGRAPHY: Todd Netter
MODELS: Tim, Jenny, Stephanie, and Mikal
A special thanks to Michael at TOPS, which is located on N.6th in between
Berry and Wythe.
The witty Taavo t-shirts and Clarendon T-shirts,
as well as Matt Made in the U.S.A's things are available
a stone's throw away from Tops Supermarket at ISA. Please
see above for location and contact details.