Brooklyn showed of its cultural gems and fashion hems this month. Afropunk Festival and New York Fashion Week have reminded us that Brooklyn has others beat when it comes to expressive original street style. During Afropunk Festival in the tree-lined townhouse sanctuary of Fort Greene, Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Danny Brown, SZA and other artists performed; while party-goers rocked their frocks with vibrantly hued head wraps and dashikis, bold eyewear, chunky jewelry and imaginative fairy-tale hair.
The headlines stemming from New York Fashion Week are set to continue at the BF+DA. Nestled between the cosmopolitan bohemia of Williamsburg and the African American cultural hub of Bed-Stuy, the BF+DA by the Pratt Institute is a 21,000 square foot production and workspace for NYC designers/makers to grow their start-ups into viable businesses, integrating local manufacturing and an ethical supply chain into their bottom line.
On Sunday September 20th, the BF+DA will host the closing reception for “Activism + Apparel” with a panel discussion. If you haven’t already cottoned on, the exhibit has raised pertinent questions facing the industry today. Artists and designers for the exhibit have used artifacts, garments, performance and media, to explore human rights, the impact of the industry on the environment and the need to support traditional cultures. Industry experts as well as academics from Pratt Institute, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of California and others will be putting their best shoe forward and contributing to the lively debate.
On Friday September 25th, the BF+DA will launch “The Antigua Project Opening Reception”. This exhibit chronicles the journey of New York City designers trading in the high-rise for cultural ties, spending 2 weeks in the museum Casa del Tejido Antiguo where they worked with weavers, seamstresses, woodworkers, leather workers and a ceramicist.
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