What’s in a pin? Con Artist Collective, the scrappy community of creative hustlers always busy dreaming up crazy stuff on Ludlow Street, believes it’s just another way for artists to express themselves and the rest of us to have fun sticking funky doodads all over our jackets.
Fashion + Shopping
I don’t know about you, but sometimes checking out one of those boutiquey hair salons can feel like a walking into a staid Chelsea art gallery– the kind of place where you could hear a pin drop, and so would the girl with ungodly, shiny/straight hair who’s glaring at you from the back.
The House of Yes has something of a problem with their shimmering, funky, newish venue in Bushwick– they have a surplus of space, which is sort of a unique issue when it comes to digs in post-industrial-squatting Brooklyn. But as the performance collective settles into what’s by far their most functional and fanciest home yet, they’re filling up their calendar with even more events. Soon enough they’ll have every inch of the space and their time occupied by cool happenings. Take for example, the first-ever Question the Market (Saturday May 28 and Sunday May 29), billed as a new pop-up “queer design and arts market.”
“It will be shopping as nightlife, nightlife as shopping,” organizer Eric Schmalenberger told us. “I feel like shopping can be more than shopping. When given the right space, it can be more interesting and engaging, and the great thing about flea markets is that you, often, can engage with the maker.”
I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s had this thought: “The day Other Music closes, I’m writing my Goodbye to All That essay.” Well, that day is upon us. The store just made the announcement on Facebook: “It is with heavy hearts that we share the news that after more than 20 years in New York City, Other Music will be closing our doors on Saturday, June 25th.”
If you had to spend a day stopping in at every shop in Brooklyn that hawks bespoke menswear, by sunset you’d need a very tall glass of whiskey indeed. Custom, handmade shoes, on the other hand, are a tradition that’s relatively hard to find around these yrts, even as a hipster revivalist thing.
That probably explains why Eric Pitzer– a guy who back in 2010 ditched his unfulfilling corporate day job in Ohio and ran away to Santiago, Chile (a place he’d never been before) to work in a tire factory– felt like he had come across something really special when he met Jaime Cardemil. “Here, shoemaking is kind of a lost thing,” Pitzer said.
Lucy Hearn recently did what so many musicians and artists before her have done when she made the big move to New York, hoping to find a bigger audience and a more “intense” environment. But instead of leaving Sydney, Australia behind in a flurry of middle fingers and broken shot glasses, Hearn (who fronts an indie pop band called Fieldings) is taking a piece of her hometown with her.
As an active member of the scrappy arts community in Sydney, she founded Strange Cuts, a rotating event that functioned as a live-music space, homemade goods market, and art show. On Saturday, May 21, at Secret Project Robot, Hearn and her organizing partner Caitlin Pasko of Drunken Piano, will host the very first Brooklyn Strange Cuts. It’ll feature performances by Fieldings as well as a slew of other local bands like Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk. Plus, there’ll be visual art and cool things to throw your money at brought to you by independent purveyors of handmade objects, garments, and book things.
The last time we saw Nasa Hadizadeh of Alt Space– the IRL art and fashion hub of Alt Citizen– it was January and she and her crew were so, so ready to cram their stuff inside a baby blue short bus and escape winter early by way of an enviable jaunt across the country. That’s exactly what Alt Space did after closing down its Montrose Avenue incarnation. Now, after a few months and some bumps along the way (including a broke-down bus), they’ve returned to Brooklyn with a whole new lease on pop-up life.
Deadly Dragon Sound just joined the long list of shuttered downtown record stores, but that doesn’t mean the news is all bad where quirky vinyl shops are concerned. One of the quirkiest, Tropicalia in Furs, is making a slight return after leaving the East Village a few years ago.
Visitors to Eclectic Collectibles in Williamsburg may enter with something specific in mind: an antique frame, perhaps, or specific knife for their latest film shoot. But as they pick through the endless piles of vintage flotsam, more often than not they stop dead in their tracks in front of the weird taxidermy corner.
A large vitrine shows stuffed chipmunks cavorting on a carousel, serving up drinks in a mini-tavern and playing in swings. In a full-on assault of visual information, there are also stuffed foxes, two-headed calves, and a wild-boar head placed in haphazard stacks. The exhibit is so weird and ripe for Instagram that owner Anthony Torres placed “No Pictures” signs all around.
This Friday on Bedford Avenue, the dream of the ’90s will collide with the dream of the mid-aughts when The Misshapes spin at the grand opening of the Dr. Martens store. It’s all a little bit overwhelming. The jet-setting DJs, in case you haven’t read their book, achieved “it” status with their Cobrasnake-friendly parties at Luke & Leroy and Don Hill’s; these days they work the decks at international fashion fetes you’re not fabulous enough to get invited to.
Julie’s Vintage slipped quietly onto Second Street in the East Village this winter. So quietly, in fact, that it wasn’t until Julie brought out tables to showcase her wares on a warm spring day that we noticed her nook.
Inside, you’ll find an outlandish hodgepodge of vintage dresses and retro-ish styled jewelry, surrounded by plumed collars and fantastical headdresses of plastic flowers and feathers. It’s the result of 35 years of discerning collecting and creativity, finally released to the market.
Very few of us are actually hat girls. They’re the manicured, mimosa-sipping waifs who have soldered to their skulls decadent sun hats. (You know, those enviable, woman-of-leisure hats that look weird worn around cubicles, and are way better suited for yachts and brunch.) Hat girls also count as part of the .05 percent of the population that can rock a maxi dress without looking like a berobed Ewok. Believe me, the only time I tried on a maxi, I was one walking stick away from someone addressing me in Ewokese: “Are you lost, fair creature?” I might have known what street I was on, but actually I was very, very lost. What I needed was a solid hat, not a technicolor muumuu.
And now that the warm season has returned I and you, womens- fashion-wearing readers, have one more chance to make it right and perhaps redefine this hat girl. Enter the Spring Fling Pop-Up, an ephemeral clothing and accessories shopping experience coming to the LES next weekend brought to you by a cohort of local designers.