Fashion Night Out is an annual celebration for everything fashion, organized by Vogue Magazine, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and the Council of Fashion Designers of America. The event is meant to get customers excited about the upcoming fall season, giving them freedom to shop all night while getting neat gifts with their purchases.
Along with Fashion Night Out, KrisTEES was launching their fall contemporary designer collections, a trunk show by local jewelry designer Agent Mimi. They also presented decorator and stylist Peter Valcarcel’s Home Pop-Up Shop with an exhibit by photographer Kris Graves.
“It’s more about color than I’ve ever seen,” said owner Kristie Foster about the fall concept. “There is a lot of color blocking, which is a mixing of high and low colors – pop pink with yellow and black.”
The collection takes a contemporary spin on the 1980s, explained Foster. Apart from the strong colors there is also tailored combined with fluidity in some pieces.
For the fall, KrisTEES is mainly concentrating on fabrics blends, baby alpaca sweaters from Peru, jackets, and long tunics.
By working with designer Mike Gonzales from California, New York designers mel en stel and other global designers from Sweden, Foster is able to keep it fresh. Most of the store’s accessories are kept local.
“I always love working with small new designers; we like to keep people guessing,” she said. “To me, I love discovering new labels and that’s what the beauty of the store is.”
For example, Varacel usually works decorating houses and stores, but until December his Home Pop-Up Shop collection will be on sale at KrisTEES every weekend.
His items vary from vintage to new and show a mixed collection to adorn a house not in one era-influenced style, but in a combination. “It’s a small taste of what I like, items I have collected over the years,” he said.
Most come from a variety of places, including Japan, Dallas, and Brazil, but one he designed himself are the pillows made from Peruvian alpaca and another from wool.
Valcarcel is hoping he can get more wool from Arequipa, Peru, and bring blankets, rugs and textile. “It’s my home, as much as I am a New Yorker, I also feel extremely Peruvian,” he said.
Featured local designer Emily Plaskett of Agent Mimi creates chains and a variety of jewelry decorated with hand-painted leathers of dark earthy colors with edgy undertones.
Plaskett, who keeps her childhood nickname Mimi, tries to keep it as “eco-friendly” as possible by using recycled material.
Her accessories are made into new from old jewelry, belts, purses, fabrics that Plaskett often finds in random vintage shops.
“During the spring and summer that’s the busy time,” she said. “The rest of the year is collecting material and working on the vision”
Plaskett sells both in Queens and Brooklyn, and has an Etsy page.
When opening the store five years ago, Foster knew she wanted to offer something of better quality, and upon its arrival, it gave the neighborhood a surprise. “They were not used to this type of store, especially in the area that I’m in; it’s more of a destination,” Foster said.
“People sometimes get a little bit bewildered, but that’s what’s exciting because, they’re surprised as soon as they walk in and it’s something they’ll remember,” she added.
Photos: Francine Dominguez