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BROOKLYN INDUSTRIES PRESENTS
THE ART OF REBELLION - THE 2014 FALL COLLECTION
Can art be found in rebellion? Is there a graphic iconography that can be put on a t-shirt, a jacket, a dress? At what point can rebellion be fashion or does it just trivialize real politics? These were the questions the Brooklyn Industries design team grappled with when its Creative Director, artist Vahap Avsar, presented them with the theme Art of Rebellion for the Fall 2014 collection.
A year ago, when the designers took their pens to paper, or Wacom tablets to their Apples, there was a real sense of urgency around political unrest. Avsar had just returned from the Gezi Park uprising in Istanbul. There, Avsar found friends, artists and writers taking to the streets to protest an increasingly oppressive and conservative government. The catalyst for the rebellion was to save a small park in downtown Istanbul from being bulldozed for an aggrandizing public building. But as documentaries about penguins played on mainstream television, the police brutality of the regime showed its face. The protestors came under assault from tear gas, water tanks and pepper spray. Facebook and Twitter became the only source of news and commentary, both personally for Avsar and for the movement’s organizers.
Here in Brooklyn, the closest event the team could relate to Avsar’s stories with was Occupy Wall Street. The government reactions had been so divergent, but with similar and negligible outcomes? How then to compare the two countries if at all, and further to build a fashion collection off of these themes?
Brooklyn Industries’ graphic icons of grenadaisies, grenade perfumes and arrows are light and almost playful in comparison. The team was wary of political manifestos on shirt sleeves. But the pops of red (if ever there was a rebellious color) and grey and ochre, mixed with fractured glass prints take the collection into a territory of grit and thoughtful determination. The almost cacaphonic mixing of media and print themes seen throughout the pieces jolt the clothing from their bland high street brethren to marching activism.
Designed a year in advance, the team grappled again with how to bring the themes to present day Fall 2014. Gezi Park briefly energized Avsar and his artist friends, but still the conservative politics of Turkey continue unabated. The book Capital hit Brooklyn bookshelves (the few that are left) to charts of growing income disparity. Did Occupy Wall Street change anything?
Without definitive answers, the BKI team took rebellion finally to a place of empowerment, not the teenage kind or the real sacrifices of people living under political dictatorship. BKI looked to the impact that new media forms have on enabling creators to change their lives from the mundane to the creative. The images and communcation from our fans on Instagram inspired us to reach out to the photo processing app, VSCO and we’ve since become one of the first companies on their Grid. The team continues to seek makers and creators who are changing their lives here in New York. It’s a long road from Istanbul, but it’s a chance to bridge the East with the West, to talk politics and to make the world a little less conservative, one garment at a time.
Zed Printed Dress (Aqua)
On Him: Lawerence Fixed Plaid L/S Shirt (Limoges)
Lawrence Oxford L/S Shirt (Green)
Lawrence Keane Plaid L/S Shirt (Navy/Orange)
Wayfarer Wrap Coat, Vertex Handbag (Black/White) (coming soon!)
contact: Teddy Vuong
20 Jay Street, Suite 1100, Brooklyn NY 11201