Spring is in full bloom and the residents of Bushwick are taking note. The sweaters are gone, the dresses are on, and spirits are high. We spoke to a number of our fashionable Bushwick neighbors to get their take on spring styles.
Natalie (photo above) walks the streets of Bushwick with the natural poise of a woman who is comfortable in her own skin. She shines in a spring dress that contains splashes of color suggesting the stained glass of a cathedral. Pairing her dress with bright red lipstick, Natalie tells us her outfit is suitable for work as much as it is for play. She is a dominatrix going on four years and she professionally refuses to divulge any of her clients most thrilling fetishes. When asked about her favorite article of clothing, Natalie quickly knows the answer. She’s owned a little red riding hood jacket since she was a young girl and, while it once came down to her ankles, it now fits snuggly above her knees and is a sentimental item that she will always cherish. Natalie is a true psychadelic vision who predicts that the future is full of funky colored lipstick.
Hannah is walking along Knickerbocker Ave and she is glowing in a floral dress. She’s an actress from Berlin who looks the part of a young ingenue just arriving to the big city. In reality, Hannah has been a resident of Bushwick for four years and is currently playing the part of Little Red Riding Hood in a local production. Hannah is a fan of vintage stores and gives a shout-out to the vintage truck that sells its wears across the street from Bushwick mainstay Roberta’s. Hannah laughs that her wardrobe is overflowing with flowery dresses, and she sports today’s pick with a gold symboled belt and a brown leather backpack. The tinted sunglasses and scarf cap off a lovely outfit for a sunny spring day.
On Friday we found Viktorsha combing through a collection of jewelry in one of Bushwick’s wonderful thrift stores. She takes to rings and necklaces the way sharks take to water (nearly every finger is adorned) but rather than exude a gaudy flash, Viktorsha conveys a humbleness that’s nostalgic for an earlier decade. The fact is, most of Viktorsha’s jewelry is made by either her friends or local artists. The necklace around her neck is no exception; it was made from coral found on the Caribbean island Martinique that she and a friend wrapped in copper wire at three in the morning. As for what the future holds, Viktorsha believes we will see women wearing more loose-fitting pants, in contrast to the tapered cuts that dominate so many current fashion markets. It’s a fashion statement that goes against the grain, but Viktorsha describes it with simple elegance, “We wear what we’re comfortable in.”
Lane is an actor who dreams of working in comedy. When asked about her favorite fashion designers, she mentions Diane Von Furstenberg but quickly tangents to Betsey Johnson who “knew how to dress a woman.” Lane is celebrating her femininity today with a wonderful floral dress. “Everyone can take pride and joy in dressing up a bit,” Lane says with a contagious smile and genuine enthusiasm. One trend she notices is girls rocking boots with their outfits. It’s a tough look that can still be feminine when paired with a dress. When the conversation turns to fashion designers making women look like boys, Lane admits that the androgynous style is fun to play with but her preference ultimately lies in a more feminine look. “Lets have fun being men and women,” Lane says, “Lets not all look the same” (see skinny jeans). Should ties come back for men? Her answer, a resounding yes!
Shelby leaves New York to find good vintage clothes. She’s like a smuggler of precious gems, a shop owner with a rockstar sensibility. The shop in question is Nouveau Vieux Vintage, where one can find all kinds of articles to match your true colors. Today Shelby wears a ’90s baby doll dress with an ’80s southwestern style blazer, and caps off the outfit with eastern loafers. She’s also wearing a necklace medley with an arrowhead and what I can only describe as an alien baby, perhaps a reference to 2001? Lets talk about customers: Are shoppers informed these days? For the most part, yes, in that they know what they want and aren’t looking for help. What can we expect for summer? Shelby thinks short shorts are a summer staple, but we’ll also see longer hemlines on long flowing skirts. People often assume that long hemlines will make shorter people look tiny, but Shelby is confident that there’s a cut for everyone.
Check out more photography work by Renee Ligtvoet