Designers Emerge at Williamsburg Fashion Weekend


Williamsburg Fashion Weekend’s ninth season, an event that has become the platform for emerging designers in Brooklyn, took place on September 16 and 17 at Windmill Studios NYC. This season’s show was in memory of the late designer, Jillian Lanier.

Arthur Arbit originally created the event four and half years ago, and he told me that he’s always on the lookout for designers “who aren’t into straight runway shows but are into performance based shows.” And performance based shows are just what spectators got beginning Friday with a cutesy one showcasing Minnae Chae’s fun collection. An adorable romper of hers stole the spotlight worn by a smiling model holding an equally adorable Pomeranian. Also adorable was the Japanese inspired collection by Andrea Diodati, who incorporated a lot of crochet doilies into her very sweet pieces that were modeled by sparkle drenched doll-like girls offering flowers to the crowd (opening photo).

Hair seemed to be a theme Friday; both Hayden Dunham and Cameron Michel and Vashti Windish (above) incorporated human hair into their very surreal performances. Also notable was the collection of Shock Vintage (below), which showed off the designer’s ability to make campy sunglasses and fun white terry cloth garments.

Before delving into Saturday’s collections a film by fashion designer Alisha Trimble was screened, a film I didn’t quite understand but which featured a girl wearing antlers as a headpiece. This prompted me to feel both irritated and proud, due to the fact that I harbor a delusion that I had created antler wearing as my signature look.

Geary Marcello’s line (above) was reminiscent of the Lower East Side ala the 1990s and went hand in hand with choreography that featured models sporting the “Why So Serious?” look in terms of makeup.

There was also an interesting performance by SDN, which seemed to channel slaves from the 1800s; models were carrying scythes and knives across a cotton plant covered runway. The clothes were great, the theme: questionable.

Nathalie Kraynina’s Janis Joplin inspired collection rocked the crowd with high end models strutting around in gorgeous creations, thus continuing her trend of creating very wearable pieces (photo above).

Stephanie Hinson told me that her lacy feminine collection was inspired by lovely ladies of the seventies such as Shelley Duval, Patti Smith and Stevie Nicks. Her baby dolls were vintage looking enough to be interesting, but modern enough to be wearable (photo above). Hinson also looked like the majority of the designers at the event; stunning yet sleep deprived, as all had quite a few sleepless nights putting in the hard work necessary for showing a full collection.

Ruffeo Hearts Lil’ Snotty collection definitely stood out with primary colors and geometry-inspired bathing suits, the perfect wardrobe for those who live inside a kaleidoscope. I asked what the influence was behind it all and they basically told me it was based upon a mildly erotic dream about Rod Stewart, which makes sense for some reason.

Sarah Ruplin, co-producer of the event told me afterward that she was pleased with the outcome. “Some designers unveiled concept based wearable art, while others showcased sophisticated and artistic everyday wear.”

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