Before you buy a Whopcorn ice cream cone at the new Davey’s Ice Cream in Williamsburg and have it melt onto your shirt, stop a few blocks away at I Love You Bedford Ave – a high fashion clothing and art object store that opened last month. The name of the store, on Bedford Avenue, also refers to owner Alisha Trimble’s more humble beginnings. A womenswear designer for 10 years, Trimble opened the first store in an apartment sporting the address of 143. For the millennials who don’t know what a pager is, much less how to use one, 1-4-3 was also the way to page “I love you.”
Though the location has changed, Trimble carried the name over to the new space, which launched its first exhibition yesterday. Also entited “I Love You Bedford,” the exhibition features pieces by local, eco-conscious female artists. Trimble explained that “eco-friendly” is a broad definition and can mean jewelry that is cast locally or wool taken from overstock to create pieces, rather than sourcing new material. But while eco-friendly is a guiding principle, lately Trimble has been inspired by the other artists.
“I’m trying to be supportive of other women by having a non-competitive way of working together,” said Trimble. “I do feel inspired by the artists because we do have a dialogue that’s open. We share ideas about feminism, the way that we depict ourselves or other women, and the way that we present our work.”
Exhibitions will rotate out once a month and Trimble said she wants to include a lingerie collection that’s inspired by… Blanche from A Streetcar Named Desire?
“The lingerie is a concept collection called Blanche du Mois,” said Trimble. “It’s not meant for this world.”
While all of the objects are eye-catching, one that stands out in a room full of soft, pastel-colored fabrics is Alex Wolkowicz’s wall installation. What looks like a seductive, black fishing net is in keeping with Wolkowicz’s goal (stated in her bio) to “alter, adjust and reconstruct the familiar in order to create moving and thought-provoking representations.”
Displayed on a mirrored table, nautical rope necklaces mix well with Trimble’s own “avant-garde” pieces, which hang daintily on their hangers next to framed artwork. Cat Chow, whose work has been exhibited at the Met and The Museum at F.I.T., provided a wall necklace installation that melds well with the poetic atmosphere. Other artists featured in the exhibition are Cora Silverman, Cave Collective, A-Benston, Hsin Wang, Ally Lindsay and Anna Marcell.
While the promise of “conflict-free materials” and “full-service dress fittings” are appealing, they also up the dollar amount. Wolkowicz’s net is priced at $1,200 and a perusal of the online store (if you prefer shopping virtually) reveals a black cutout dress at $950, a void bracelet at $1,300 and a rose beaded headband at $275, to name a few luxuries.
Prices aside, customers who view the dresses, lingerie, wall art and jewelry may even be compelled to change the store name from “I Love You Bedford Ave” to simply, “I Love That.”
I Love You Bedford Ave is located at 294 Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg. The exhibition runs until Aug. 24. Regular store hours are Monday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m., closed Tuesday, and Wednesday through Sunday from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.