Running from show to show, attending endless dinners and floating between parties, New York Fashion Week is always a never-ending list of caffeine-fueled and (seemingly) glamorous obligations. Lately, it feels the event has shifted from being a seven-day celebration of creativity to a tiresome, celebrity-centric spectacle, filled with clickbait antics, unoriginal showmanship and homogenized wears.
Alt Space, Alt Citizen’s newly opened gallery and one-stop-shop for all things DIY, was eager to change that trend this season with “Fashun Tweek.” The Brooklyn-based shop hosted six consecutive nights, described by Fashun Tweek Curator Phil Gomez as, “The official showcase for futuristic streetwear and experimental designs.” Each night the tenet of the shop changed drastically, encompassing those in attendance through décor, performance, music and—of course—fashion. The only constant from was limitless originality and ingenuity.
Night One: Launch Party
Fashun Tweek kicked off with a jam-packed party hosted by eccentric Insta-lebrities, Nicky Ottav and EGYPTIANLOVHER. Rising songstress Sizzy Rocket performed her Ke$ha meets Brooke Candy banger, “Bestie,” among other tracks to a crowd drunk on Deep Eddy’s vodka and Kettle Chips.
Night Two: UNITE by Jahnkoy MariaPhotography: Alex and the Hau5
“It is bold, it is free, it is righteous and rebellious,” said designer Jahnkoy Maria of her green-centric label UNITE. Her Fashun Tweek showcase focused heavily on Rastafarianism, which Maria cites as central to her brand.
The garments exhibited clashing prints and were built with recycled materials in Moscow, London and New York. The collection’s highlight came in the form of repurposed plastic bags; Maria treats, embroiders, weaves, ties and knots them into textures that can emulate anything from leather to beading. The garments were relaxed and loose in fit, many featuring billowing sleeves and mild Kawakubo influence.
After the presentation, reggae artist Ishmail Levi rendered the audience speechless with a unifying set. The walls were lined with pressing statements of brotherhood made to match the performance.
Night Three: Saga NYCPhotography: Marie Tomanova
To start the night, Saga NYC enlisted choreographer and known cyborg Moon Ribas to perform her ethereal dance piece, “Waiting For Earthquakes.” With a seismic sensor attached to her body, Ribas bewitched the audience through energetic sways and convulsions to seismic activity happening around the globe.
Following the performance, Saga NYC offered an interactive showing of their unisex collection, inspired by collective consciousness and afro-futurism. Attendees were able to dress and style the models—an intimate and innovative experience in comparison to the non-personal nature of runway—that can only be described as playing with an IRL Ken and Barbie.
The monochromatic collection featured elastic harnesses and body-hugging silhouettes in flexible fabrics. Garments are incredibly versatile; each separate piece could’ve be styled in a myriad of ways, from barely clothed to fully covered.
Night Four: Something HappeningPhotography: Cheryl Georgette Arent
Designer Cynthia Chang delivered a frilly ’90s baby-doll collection for SS ’16. The design collective Something Happening, led by Chang, is dedicated to the support of artists and designers with a “fun and funky sensibility.”
Alt Space was lit with pink bulbs and saw models donning embroidered mesh capelets, overalls with crayon-like squiggles covering the pockets and quilted hats.
Night Five: Sext PixelsPhotography: Anne Li
If the disco-era had a Candyland-crazed love child, you’d get Sext Pixels’ SS ’16 collection. Designer Sarah Lathrop produced the undeniable front-runner of Fashun Tweek, which, according to Lathrop, was inspired by candy and rap videos from the aughts.
Models marched around Alt Space in powder pink neoprene and frayed denim with messy pink stitching, holding selfie sticks and lollipops. The garments boasted oversized hardware, most notably a super-sized white zipper holding a cutout dress together. The collection was styled by Lester Garcia, the brain behind Gypsy Sport’s SS ’16 styling.
Night Six: Lactic IncorporatedPhotography: Cheryl Georgette Arent
The final night of Fashun Tweek took us on a deep space voyage to a war-torn world of wears. Lactic Incorporated’s showing at Alt Space came just 24 hours after their runway premiere at the Brooklyn Museum for “VERGE: Queer New York Fashion Week.”
The collection was made entirely of found prints and textiles, which co-designers Randi Shandroski and Giancarlo Corbacho reshaped into sculptural, sci-fi and armor-like garments. Industrial prints were handsomely embroidered onto vintage boat and car interiors. The floor was covered in oil and grease-grimed gloves, alluding to the mechanic, Mad Max nature of Lactic Incorporated’s designs.