“We make garments that inspire and activate the wearer to go beyond the daily grind.”
Fashion week is still upon us in NYC, but the hyper-commercialized branding fest nowadays referred to as “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week” at Lincoln Center is none of our concern. Instead S2S ventured out to see artist’s Aliya Bonar‘s art performance and pop-up store PowerSuits Boutique. We’re not talking about those tacky 1980s shoulder pads here but hand-made garments and even objects.
From last Friday until this Thursday, Aliya and her team will give clients free consultations on custom-made fashion items that will empower them to meet their aspirations, overcome their fears or inspire them to become who they truly want to be. Aliya Bonar wants to give people “an opportunity to talk about their biggest dreams that they haven’t fulfilled, or that they maybe have fulfilled but want to get to the next level.” Everything will be made from scratch right in the storefront loaned to her with designer Lindsey McCord and a four-person team by Chashama art group. Each item will range from $30 to $200.
Book your appointment now at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or stop by Thursday night from 7-9 pm for their closing event to check out what they have designed for other clients.
266 West 37th Street, New York, NY
If you are looking for inspirations, S2S went out on the streets of New York City to ask people who stood out from the crowd what sartorial choices empower them.
Rachel Bowers is wearing a bunny hat and black rimmed glasses devoid of actual lenses. The hat was given to Rachel by her grams who told her it would protect her. She is currently test driving the glasses: “I can’t see right now but I can see very clearly that my aspirations for a degree in law or business administration were misguided. This country is too corrupt to want to be involved in those professions. Instead, at moment, I am taking dance classes at college.
Seokbae Lee hails from South Korea. The cat t-shirt was given to him by his Japanese girlfriend. Because of Seokbae’s limited English and our non-existed Korean, unfortunately, we couldn’t get any details. But we all know about the nature of cats – fierce and tender at the same time…
Fariha Ansan grew up in South Arabia. Although her mother and sisters were not wearing a chador or headscarf, at 17 years, Fariha decided to do so. She feels it has since liberated her from the expectations of others and made her more confident: “I don’t like to follow trends but I enjoy blending different cultures together.”
Jongo is a designer of t-shirts and art works who has a small booth in Union Square. His own style is also very eclectic, pieces are often created from recycled material: “I am a producer not a consumer. Mass produced fashion is turning into garbage in no time. Let’s not forget, everybody is special – even being naked can be empowering.”
Sometimes it is not about the fashion but about the details, like the multi-colored nails of Kate Magic, a writer: ” It’s a question of vibration, of individuality. I wear a lot of colors which express my positive attitude.”
Or it could be a bow-tie! JoBailey Morgan, who works in advertising, has sported one since he was 9 years old. He is originally from Panama but has lived in Harlem for many years: “The bow tie has definitely opened a lot of doors for me.”
If the bow-tie doesn’t do it for you – maybe the skort will?! The ‘skort’ is a pair of shorts that look like a skirt. Made popular by female athletes in the 1960s, they make a pretty handsome fashion statement today. Daniel Abbott, who works for leather fashion designer Zana Bayue, finds it liberating that in NYC nobody seems to care what you wear, unlike St. Petersburg, Florida where Daniel grew up.
Whatever your choice, keep in mind:
It is not about what you wear but how you wear it.
All photos © SIMONE LUECK