Swarovski x CFDA Emerging Talent Party Does Brooklyn’s DUMBO

Downtown is dead, fashionistas!  It seems that Brooklyn is the place for the hopeful haute-wear fan. Last night the crowd “aced” it at the CFDA Fashion Awards Swarovski Nominees for Emerging Talent at the spanking new (not even officially opened yet) DUMBO House (a branch of SoHo House) inside the emerging Brooklyn Bridge Park Empire Stores.

Mike Amiri, Kristopher Brock, Nadja Swarovski, Aurora James, Pyer Moss

The evening’s honorees were Mike Amiri, Kristopher Brock and Laura Vassar of Brock Collection; Aurora James of Brother Vellies; Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss, and Sander Lak of Sies Marjan.

The scene

A proffered glass of welcoming and welcome champagne accompanied my elevator ride to the 6th floor where a coat check girl relieved me of my soggy rain things (no Uber in traffic for me — I’m a subway girl)! The elongated space furnished with comfy seating areas think cool hotel lobby, features picture windows and a spacious outdoor area which I was told was open if I’d like to go outside. Despite the foggy yet still spectacular bridge views I wasn’t the only one who stayed inside.

Representative dresses from each of the nominated designers were on mannequins by the windows and the nominees themselves were amongst the throng of well-wishers including your usual suspects: stylists, models, photographers, bloggers, fashion hangers-on and various hyphenates of the above. In the far back, tote bags were being embellished with various designs for anyone brave enough to venture into the dark, cavernous area by the open kitchen (were those actual chickens roasting on the spit flanked by huge cauliflowers?) — at one point I couldn’t even get through the bottlenecked bar gridlock.

Natalie and Dylana

Sisters of the sibling variety — (maybe “sistas” since they are; despite the theme of the Met Costume Institute; not exactly nuns) are apparently on trend now (thanks Hiltons and “Kardash-Jenns”) as evidenced by les Soeurs Suarez (Natalie and Dylana), Coleman (Dren and Angel) and Quann (TK Wonder and Cipriana). Isn’t it nice when family members werk and work together?

Steven Kolb

Other fashion notables included Kelela; Diane von Furstenberg; Steven Kolb; Fernando Garcia; Peter Som; Nadja Swarovski; Stacey Bendet; Brian Atwood; Marc Bouwer; Zuri Marley; Carly Cushnie; Jillian Mercado; Young Paris; Roopal Patel, Hannah Bronfman; Timo Weiland. DJ Zuri Marley (daughter of Ziggy and yes, she does write and perform her own songs) spun some serious tunes which along with the cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres including eggplant pizza, beets and goat cheese on endive and veggies in individual glasses with dip, kept the mood energized.

Fuzzy handbags and shoes

Naturally, my most important goal is to discover what young partygoers are wearing. Many of them sported fuzzy shoes and handbags ostensibly from the Brother Vellies collection. I’m wondering what happens to sheep in the rain — do they get that wet dog stench? Fortunately, I didn’t get close enough to derive a definitive answer to that stinking question.

Kinky boots?

What did seem like the perfect fashion accessory — tailor-made for the rainy night was from last year’s CFDA winner Off-White designer Virgil Abloh. In this case it’s with his Jimmy Choo collaboration by way of a stiletto heeled plastic covered satin boot (the Elisabeth which retails for about $1,800, if you can find it still in stock) since all the celebs (Rihanna, Bella, Naomi, etc) have been duly shod in them — which one attendee paired with a denim mini. Interestingly, the collection was inspired by Princess Diana who favored Choo’s pumps.  Putting a “shower cap” over them seems fitting, what with the impending royal sh*tshow, er I mean wedding.

Designer Stacey Bendet

In a late night quote to WWD, Nadja Swarovski reportedly said “It’s been so great and inspirational — that’s New York. I have to say, the young design community seems so energized, and very positive. It seems they’re having fun, and it seems they’re confident and happy. I think the industry has changed so much, at least in the seven years we’ve been involved with the CFDA. The young designers are getting so much support and encouragement.” It’s nice to know that the CFDA provides this type of long-term assistance and is not just doing all this for a reality TV show — think Tyra Banks with America’s Next Top Instagram THOT, sorry, make that “Model,” or Buckingham Palace with hapless Thomas Markle thrown under the double-decker bus.

Stay tuned for more from New York’s hottest borough: The 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards, in partnership with Swarovski for the 17th year, will be held on June 4th and hosted by Issa Rae at the Brooklyn Museum.

– Laurel Marcus

Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

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