Tucked between two Bushwick apartment buildings sits the Madison Square Association Garden, last week the setting for the latest collection from the local fashion label Amehl SS23, titled “The Prophecy” and coming from the mind of designer Amanda Mehl.
Some highlights from Mehl’s previous shows have included: a long table filled with pastries and jewels, the centerpiece of her show “How to Keep Your Husband” ; a mock awards show where models received trophies dressed in her “193rd Annual Amehl Gala Celebration” collection; a back-to-school-themed season where her entire show took place inside a school bus.
Her most recent act had started on the web before it reached the garden: Mehl and her mom, Beverly Mehl, had created a talk show, where the younger Mehl would appear as a guest.
“I’m like this crazy YouTuber spiritual new age prophet that’s acting like I have a prophecy,” said Mehl.
Once night hit the garden, a group had gathered behind a chain link fence to catch their glimpse of Mehl’s fashion show extravaganza. “She is the prophet so I’m sure she has a lot to tell you,” one of them, a local named Jules Elmurib energetically told me.
So far, it appeared the prophet’s message was: “the aliens have come to the community garden.”
A local DJ who went by “Æon” was providing the music for the aliens to dance, a kind of trance, techno and a pop themed mix created from Regression Records samples. The set had begun with the lone voice of a girl talking to her saying: “Uh uh girl this is not it. Let me go talk to the DJ.”
“The intro resets the room,” Æon could be heard saying.
Mehl’s aliens turned out to be a diverse cast of models, dressed in designs that ranged from an array of colors to sunset shades, rich purples, brilliant pearlescents, and leafy greens. Her pieces showcased a genuine Y2K influence, no doubt a nod to her own past.
“[This style is] something I’ve been doing since I was five years old. I’ve been stapling fabrics from my mom’s warehouse because she’s a designer. The clothes have always been naughty, dreamy, and shamelessly pretty,” said Mehl.
“I’m coming from another planet, I guess,” said Mehl.
All images taken by Davita Aundréa.
For more news, sign up for Bushwick Daily’s newsletter.
Join the fight to save local journalism by becoming a paid subscriber