Sunday, August 7, 2016

Party, Party, Party!

photograph courtesy Denton Taylor

We received one of those invitations you can't turn down from Ruthie Darling (her blog here; her Instagram here), announcing that she was celebrating her imminent departure for six months of touring with Kiss of the Spiderwoman and another show at Collections, a curated vintage shop in up and coming Bushwick (in Brooklyn, like so many other of-the-moment phenomena).  A follow-up email announced that Debra Rapoport would be bringing a Japanese film crew with her, and suggested that we all dress up (ha! as if we otherwise wouldn't have).  Of course, when we say an invitation you can't turn down, that excludes work obligations.  Jean was traveling that day, so Valerie had to represent two people all by herself.  A tough job, but someone's got to do it...

It had been one of those days - weeks, actually - where New York tried to compete with Seattle for the most precipitation.  That always affects one's clothing decisions, particularly one's shoes, but one willingly sacrifices for a party.

Here's the low-down from Valerie:

I ran into the Baroness at the train station that takes one directly into the heart of trendy Brooklyn, so we made our way ther together.  A few blocks from our destination, we came across this work by gumshoeart (Angela China) and HAD to photograph ourselves in front of it.

This was harder than you might think, because it was raining, we were both carrying stuff, we didn't want to put it down where it might get wet, and of course we didn't know anyone.  But we did manage to snag a charming and good natured young man so we could be photographed together.  We gave him very strict instructions (like 'please get the feet in', and 'please get the whole painting in'.  The result was that we got neither, but it's enough for you to get the idea.  To be fair, it is hard to complain (try though I may), because after all it was raining, he did us a BIG favor, he was on his way somewhere, and he wasn't a professional photographer.  So we're actually very grateful.  And a link to the gumshoeart Instagram account is included above, so you can see more pictures of this work there.

When the Baroness and I arrived, the party was already in full swing, with guests nibbling on British munchies (Ruthie is from Across the Pond), and trying on wonderful vintage selections from the Collections collection.  Denton Taylor convinced us all to go outside during a lull in the precipitation, and got the group shot you see at the head of this post.  The brains behind Collections is LucyAnn, far left, who moments before had been blowing gigantic bubbles, some of which can be seen in the lower left corner of the photo.

I fell in love with Ruthie's dress, and have to give you a better view of it.  It looks for all the world like it's aluminum, but it must be polyurethane, or a variation.  It's very supple and light.  The wonderful pouf is accomplished by turning the hem back under the dress and sewing a hem that forces the skirt to splay outward.  The black straps are a great contrast.  Ruthie found the dress that day at Collections, and it went home with her.   It seems Bushwick is full of outdoor art.  Don't you love the oil rigs above Ruthie's head?
Photograph courtesy of Denton Taylor

Diana Gabriel took home this '80s jumpsuit.  In the lead photo, she's wearing a similarly graphic full length skirt with fabulous pockets, which she turned into a dress.
photograph courtesy of Denton Taylor

Do all of you know Ricky Aloisio, The New York Times Art Director?  My camera phone shows signs of going the way of all things, and it took this VERY bad photo of him.  Ricky has an amazing gift for matching and contrasting colors and patterns in his clothes.  If you haven't seen his Instagram account, here's the link.   Did you look?  If you did, you'll recognize this pose, despite my uncooperative camera.  Time to trade up to the iPhone 6!

Matthew, one of LucyAnn's employees, modeled a pink cheong sam, graphic duster, matching pink parasol, fan, and Prada shoes.  And you KNOW I tried to find him a hat.

Continuing with the pink theme, one of the guests found a frothy pink dress with layers of tulle.  Unbelievably, this dress goes even further back than I do, so I'm not sure whether it's a highly formal debutante dress, or a less formal sweet 16 or prom dress.  In any case, I really liked the tulle panel that fans out at the bust.  Very feminine, and more than a bit come-hither.  Completely respectable, revealing nothing, yet offering willing assistance to any active imagination.

When Debra arrived with her Japanese film crew, the party switched into high gear.  Collections is a narrow shop.  It's more than ample sized for street traffic, but the party put a strain on the walls.  Here's Debra being filmed.  It was similar to being at a rock concert, where one has to hold the camera high above one's head to take the picture, and hope that it captures what you want.

Once the film crew had its interviews, Debra joined the rest of the crowd.   This party brought together a very creative group.  Debra, for example, is wearing a hat and necklace of her own making; Martina Dietrich has her own atelier; and the Baroness, who designed her own latex outfit, and has her own boutique in Manhattan.

Ruthie Darling, in addition to being an actress, aerialist and blogger, also currently writes for the fashion section of The Bushwick Daily.  So if you'd like additional information or pictures about this party, click here for Ruthie's rundown.


  1. HOLY GUACAMOLE! What I wouldn't give to have been a fly on the wall at that party, or better yet, a guest on the floor ;) I have followed Ricky's IG for a while,and would love to meet him in person. What an interesting, creative and marvelously dressed crowd.

  2. Very festive event. Everyone looks absolutely fabulous. This looks like a vintage shop that needs to be on my agenda for the next NYC adventure!