Fashion Week: A streaker, Brooklyn Navy Yard

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

One of the most talked-about events of the week was Alexander Wang's show scheduled Saturday night in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It's an interesting venue but one that's not familiar to most New Yorkers.

The Navy Yard is located on the Brooklyn waterfront, on the East River across from Manhattan. But the nearest bridge isn't even the most famous of the three that connect the two boroughs. The Navy Yard is well north of the famous Brooklyn Bridge, located instead between the Williamsburg and Manhattan bridges.

And it's not easy to get to — a 15-minute walk on snowy streets from the nearest subway station, in a section of Brooklyn that Manhattan-based taxi drivers don't always know well. Fashionistas have been griping about making the trek, because despite Brooklyn's reputation as a hotbed of hipsters, the fashion world remains very Manhattan-centric.

But Wang's shows are must-sees and he often holds them in offbeat venues away from the tents at Lincoln Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

The Navy Yard has a remarkable history. The U.S. Navy began using the site to build ships in 1806. The USS Arizona, which was sunk in the attack on Pearl Harbor, was among the many ships built there. During World War II, tens of thousands of people worked in the Navy Yard building ships around the clock.

Today the Navy Yard is an urban industrial park, with a few hundred small enterprises from design studios and manufacturers to storage and import businesses employing several thousand people. More growth is expected in the coming years thanks to millions of dollars in investment. Guided tours of the site are offered, and there's also a museum called BLDG 92.



There were opulent gongs, mood music and richly colored coats on Prabal Gurung's Himalayas-inspired runway on Saturday. Oh, and a streaker in an animal-print G-string, crown and bright red socks!

The vibe was briefly disrupted by the cheeky (and I do mean cheeky) guy in loafers and overcoat as he ran onstage at a cavernous space in a shuttered post office and knelt before one of Gurung's models as she walked.

But she never broke her model stare. She simply walked around him as he was chased back to where he had come from, behind stage near risers where a throng of photographers snapped away, along with Twitter-crazed guests in the audience.

So, back to the lovely clothes, and that they were.

Opera coats came in deep crimson red and cantaloupe colors with mohair. Chunky turtleneck knit sweaters perfect for ski lodge or base camp had mixed patterns, high slits and embracing sleeves. One coat was a grey mink paired with snow white Mongolian lamb.

Gurung, a Nepalese American designer, embroidered organza for draped looks in blouses. He embellished chiffon with sequins and Swarovski crystals with more draped-detail in a Bordeaux red.

His finale was all about the gowns and more draping: in crimson, Bordeaux and midnight black. One dress had ostrich feathers embroidered on a tulle train.

—Leanne Italie,