Namibia to Prospect Heights: Brooklyn designers pay homage to century-old styles
Professional models walked down the runway in some homemade style Friday night, turning the Brooklyn Public Library’s central branch into a fashion show for a local class of aspiring designers.
The show featured 20 local designers from the library’s BKLYN Fashion Academy, a 16-week program that provides practical education, studio time and help in navigating the fashion industry. Teen designers from Uncommon Charter High School and Uncommon Collegiate High School also showed their work.
“We have no shortage of creative talent in our community at all,” said model and fashion expert Tamiko White, who hosted Friday’s show. “However, we do have a shortage of business prowess and acumen, access to understanding fashion as a business. And the truth is, knowing fashion as a business is what makes your business profitable and sustainable.”
Students, ranging in age from 17 to over 60, paid homage to the Herero women of Namibia and their Victorian-style dresses, incorporating wearable technology into their designs in a meld of past and future.
The Herero adopted their traditional dress in defiance of their German colonizers, who killed 70 percent of their people between 1904 and 1907. Donning the clothing worn by their oppressors, the Herero found a way to recognize and reclaim their history.
More than a century later and a continent away, Brooklyn designers added some modern flare to the tradition with a diverse line of designs that included headpieces, intricate detail and wide-ranging concepts.
“Their designs are as diverse as Brooklynites are,” White said. “I mean, we know that Brooklyn has all the style — we’re biased.”
Leave a Comment
Leave a Comment