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THIS MAN’S WORK

In one painting a black woman wears a white, knee-length, feathery skirt paired with red Adidas tennis shoes and a red Adidas windbreaker. She is standing fierce, firm on the ground in a soldier-like pose. This is the work of Houston-based artist Robert Pruitt, which he presents through nearly 20 large-scale drawings in the Studio Museum exhibit titled “Women.” It combines elements of science fiction, hip-hop culture, and comic books. Pruitt, known for his multimedia work, examines the historical and contemporary experiences of African-Americans and has shown in various museums, and at the Whitney Biennial.

Thursdays-Sundays, noon; Saturdays, 10 a.m. Starts: July 18. Continues through Oct. 27, 2013

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Life and Times: So This Is Growing Up

What genre is your life story? Were your teenage years a murder mystery? Did your preschool comrades resemble a communist youth group, performing perfectly choreographed mass spectacles in tidy red and gray uniforms?

You may consider this question after taking in Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s ten-hour performance of Life and Times: Episodes 1-4, produced by Soho Rep and now playing at the Under the Radar Festival. Life and Times—NT’s ongoing, monumentally ambitious project—consists of the (rather ordinary) life story of company collaborator Kristin Worrall, as told to, and transformed by, artistic directors Pavol Liska and Kelly Copper. The saga will eventually comprise ten episodes; now on offer at The Public are the first four, roughly spanning Worrall’s babyhood through her high school prom night (much of which, apparently, was spent communing with a group of rather voluble frogs).

You can see these episodes individually. Or you can see them together, as a marathon ending at midnight, with performers serving knishes, hot dogs, and brownies during intermissions, and sending you into the January night with steaming cups of hot chocolate. Do the latter. To get the full effect, commit to the all-day (and evening) affair. Not every theatrical marathon justifies its length—but in this case, accumulation is art, and the epic performance turns small memories (Worrall’s, and yours) into big experiences during an extended communal day in the theater.

Worrall’s first-person chronicle—related to Liska by phone, and transcribed verbatim, complete with every “like” and “so”—became the libretto of Nature Theater’s piece. This text is distributed, in performance, among the ensemble members, and as each narrates, the others become back-up singers and avid listeners. Occasionally, Liska and Copper stage bits of the unfolding stories—a slow pantomime commemorates the middle-school horror of failing to ask a cute boy to dance. Mostly, though, the performance doesn’t illustrate the tale so much as estrange it, turning songs about everyday events into operatic arias and peppy group numbers. Worrall’s suburban girlhood turns into a communist-youth pageant, a nineties-era music video, and an old-fashioned mystery.

Each of these genres is not only quirky, but also appropriate—in the most revelatory way—to the subject matter it accompanies. Worrall’s early childhood is staged as a mass pageant performed by some unnamed communist youth. The actors sport uniforms, wave fluorescent hoops, and perform semaphore-like dance moves and strange gestures: rhythmic tummy-rubbing, fierce air-clawing, lots and lots of jazz hands. (These movements, often performed in an order determined by chance, are a hallmark of Nature Theater’s work—as is the exaltation of everyday conversation into epic performances.)

This youth-group conceit is endlessly amusing, but it also suggests the ways in which childhood is always a tug-of-war between mandates from authority—being strapped into backseats and corralled into classrooms—and the first stirrings of individuality. Worrall is alert to early injustices, from siblings’ misbehavior to class divides in her town, and these observations, too, are apt challenges to the everyone’s-equal aesthetic championed by socialist societies and preschools alike. Important themes occasion full-cast emphasis: “CARPOOLING,” a fixture of Worrall’s childhood, is belted out in multipart harmony.

If childhood is a youth pageant, early adolescence is a music video—or so suggest Liska and Copper in Episode Two. The cast, now attired in brightly-colored Adidas tracksuits, bops around to nineties-style tunes, as disco balls scatter beams of light. Group dances present unerring metaphors for the social pressures of junior high—the crush of conformity, the thrills of being noticed, the agonies of moving to a different beat.

Even more delightfully surprising is the analogy proposed by Episodes Three and Four, in which Worrall’s teenage years are staged in high Agatha Christie style. Backdrops conjure a British manor, and the performers, decked out in sweatervests and plaids, pose in a series of wide-eyed melodramatic tableaus. This creates an unexpected, but astute rendering of what high-school social dramas feel like. Worrall buys cigarettes incognito—posing, of course, as an eighteen-year-old—and investigates the mysteries of first kisses and first trips abroad. The relentlessly high stakes of a classic whodunit parallel perfectly the constant crisis of adolescence, and the ensemble’s gasps, grimaces, and discreet tears are both fitting and wildly entertaining.

Life and Times is beautiful because it’s particular—Worrall is a sensitive observer of her own life—and also because it’s everyone’s story. Enter the Public’s lobby at intermission and you’ll hear audience members gleefully exchanging their own memories, brought to the surface by Worrall’s. This happens because her stories are so thoughtful, but also so recognizably ordinary. Occasionally, Life and Times acknowledges this, gesturing to its original form—Worrall and Liska’s lengthy phone calls—and wryly apologizing for its apparent banality. “That was like a—mess of nothing I just told you!” exclaims one performer toward the end. “You just gave me whatever I was looking for,” another replies. It’s true: Worrall’s might be an everyday tale, but this performance is once in a lifetime.

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GRAPHIC BY NATURE

Doug Cunningham and Jason Noto, the twosome responsible for the collaborative Brooklyn studio known as Morning Breath, have released a slew of stylish works for Adidas, JanSport, Sixpack, Stussy, and Think Skateboards (which is where they first met) and built a solid roster of musical clients including TV on the Radio, Queens of the Stone Age, and AFI. At tonight’s opening party for their joint show with skateboarder/graffiti artist Cycle titled “Oddities,” the graffiti, fine art, and design masses will collide to admire these unique talents.

Feb. 27-March 22, 2009

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O Zhang Shoots her Own Cultural Revolution

It was only a matter of time before a Chinese artist modeled an exhibition catalog on Mao’s Little Red Book. To her credit, the young O Zhang’s version—created for her first New York solo show, The World Is Yours (But Also Ours) at CRG Gallery—feels less like a gimmick than a quotation, an allusion that chimes resonantly with her subject matter. For some time now, O, who divides her time between New York and Beijing, has been chronicling what she calls China’s second Great Leap Forward, its 21st-century economic rise and internationalization. In her 2006 photographic series Daddy & I, for example, O produced subtly disturbing double portraits of adult Western men posing with the young, unwanted Chinese girls they had adopted.

Her current show, also a series of conceptual photographs, is more comic than creepy. Taken during the two months prior to the Beijing Olympics, color images of individual Chinese youths are coupled with slogans in Chinese. As she writes in the catalog introduction, “The text follows the form used in Cultural Revolution–era propaganda posters: an image bordered with a slogan in bold text below it.” The slogans O has chosen might come from Mao, but also from advertising and other sources. In the pictures, each of the kids wears a T-shirt with phrases in “Chinglish”: English that has been mistranslated, either linguistically or culturally. A perfect example of the latter: a work juxtaposing the slogan “Poverty Is Not Socialism”—a formulation uttered by former leader Deng Xiaoping in a 1984 speech announcing reform—with a photo of a girl wearing a T-shirt proclaiming, “Everything Is Shit.” Among the image’s many ironies is the fact that Deng’s new policy produced the T-shirt, which, one assumes, neither the prepubescent girl nor her parents would assent to, if they understood its meaning.

Indeed, the cultural mistranslations tend to be the most poignant—misspellings of, for instance, popular brands like Adidas and Puma don’t deliver much of a punch. But O’s images demonstrate that cultural mistranslations come in many forms. “China, Add Gasoline” reads one Chinese text: It’s a popular cheer in sporting events, akin to “Step on the Gas.” Above it, a girl with a car-shaped handbag on her shoulder raises an arm to a sky criss-crossed with the enormous cranes that have become an ordinary feature of life in large Chinese cities. The topsy-turvy associations of the cheer—notably the drastic environmental consequences of the country’s high-octane economy—are, in a sense, paralleled by the jumbled text on the girl’s shirt, which reads: “Love Haney Me &.” Less common, though not absent, are overtly political works: Salute to the Patriot depicts a girl before the Tiananmen Gate Tower, a large Mao poster over her shoulder; she wears a T-shirt that assures us, “It’s All Good in the Hood.”

For some time, I wondered why O chose to shoot all these kids from below, casting the images in a heroic, or mock-heroic, light. Then I came across the work that gives the show its title and found that the text, from a well-known speech by Mao, continues: “You young people, full of vigor and vitality, are in the bloom of life. . . . Our hope is placed on you.” It brought home again how deceptively simple these images are, for, in fact, any one of them could inspire hours of fruitful meditation, with a few chuckles along the way.

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Battlefield Earth

Asked about that triple suicide last week at Gitmo, Colleen Graffy, our deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy, opined that it was a “good PR move.” Michael Winterbottom’s The Road to Guantánamo—which docu- dramatizes the case of the Tipton Three and won the Silver Bear at the last Berlin Film Festival—might be an even better one.

The great versatilist of British film, Winterbottom—here co-directing with editor Mat Whitecross—follows his hardcore structuralist musical 9 Songs and anti-adaptation of the anti-novel Tristram Shandy with the true story of three Tipton lads, British-born South Asians all around 20, who, caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, find themselves hooded and flown in a cargo plane to the U.S. prison camp on Guantánamo base.

“These are bad people,” George W. Bush explains, with a touch of petulance and Tony Blair at his side, of the Guantánamo detainees. In the case of Ruhel Ahmed, Asif Iqbal, and Shafiq Rasul that term hardly applies—unless luckless and possibly stupid are synonymous with evil. Having gone to Pakistan in late 2001 for a wedding, the trio gravitate toward Afghanistan’s open border and arrive at Kandahar in time for the bombing. They flee to Kabul and then, attempting to return to Pakistan, take a van that turns into a Taliban convoy.

The Tipton Three are represented as good Muslims, which is to say, they’re not fundamentalists but citizens of the world—carrying Adidas tote bags, wearing Gap hoodies, and referencing Back to the Future. Arrested by American forces, they are initially unfazed. U.S.A. is OK. (Later, one will compose a rap song that captivates his American jailor until it gets too close to home.) But their interrogation degenerates into pointless brutalization—complete with menacing dogs—even before they are packed up and shipped to Gitmo.

The Road to Guantánamo is shot documentary-style, mainly on digital video, with much interpolated news footage and hectic Steadicam work. Interviews with the actual Tipton Three annotate the action, which is feverish to a fault before settling into its prison camp routine. From there on, it’s effectively grueling. Less narrative than experiential in its bias, The Road to Guantánamo details the 24-7 “processing” of these prisoners, replete with beatings, stompings, sensory bombardment, cage-like cells, shackles, and endless, fruitless interrogations. What’s brilliantly omitted by the filmmakers is the ostensible purpose of the violence. Although the Americans claim to want information, their intention is political. Rather than knowledge of Al Qaeda, the goal seems rather to force confessions useful in the creation of defendants for a future show trial.

Although the Tiptons are ultimately unbroken after two years in prison camp, The Road to Guantánamo is one of the most oppressive accounts of life in a military detention since Jonas Mekas’s “documentary” version of The Brig or Peter Watkins’s Punishment Park. How good is it as PR? (As the American guards are fond of saying, “Shut the fuck up!”) By making a spectacle of the purposeless violence inflicted by frightened authority on whoever might be available, the movie could just as well have been called The Road to Haditha.


The Museum of the Moving Image takes a chance in giving a short run to a more low-key, avant-garde wartime drama, Vimukthi Jayasundara’s The Forsaken Land. Winner of the Camera d’Or at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, the Sri Lankan feature is a studied piece that opens with a single tank arriving at dawn in a deceptively tranquil war zone, a rural purgatory populated by a single family—two sisters, a child, and the man of the house, conscripted to home duty. The mysterious troop deployments around this deadpan quartet accentuate the sense of alienation.

Although the decades-long civil war between the Sri Lankan government and the Tamil Tigers is in relative abeyance, years of violence have precipitated a breakdown in conventional behavior patterns—resulting in civilian suicides, adulterous sex, and participation in summary executions. Beautiful but withholding, The Forsaken Land doesn’t offer much in the way of explanation—the soundtrack features more birdcalls than dialogue—but the 27-year-old filmmaker’s command of film language is evident and his evocation of postwar trauma is haunting.

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City Mall Pall

Whoever wins the city’s highly prized, new street furniture franchise, New York can expect an even wider proliferation of the everywhere-you-look ads that many Gothamites already consider a growing plague.

Three big firms—Van Wagner, the Spanish conglomerate Cemusa, and a French firm, JC Decaux (teamed with NBC Universal)—are the finalists in a race to win the $1 billion contract to handle some 3,300 bus shelters, 330 newsstands, and 20 public toilets. Driving the deal is the hugely profitable revenue from the ads with which the winner will bedeck all the fixtures. Estimates are the contract will yield more than $1 billion, with the city’s cut being some $100 million.

But it comes at a civic cost, say critics.

“It’s like a runaway infection: New York is now covered in billboards,” said Steve Stollman, a former newsstand owner who has long advocated on behalf of street-level news dealers. Stollman should know. His East Houston Street office, which doubles as headquarters for the bicycle group Times Up!, is located at what’s become a downtown crossroads of commercialism. Immense billboards loom over Houston Street between Broadway and Lafayette. The newly constructed glass-and-steel building housing Adidas boasts a built-in four-story billboard.

The new street furniture contract will only add to that glut, said Stollman. “The franchise basically calls for a billboard dressed up like a newsstand,” he said. Each of the contenders has tried to outdo the other by hiring big name architects—including Charles Gwathmey and Richard Meier—to design the bus shelters, but Stollman describes the designs as “pretty minimal functionality. There is a kind of mall pall, a horrible gray uniformity.”

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Buy My Stuff

“David Beckham’s coming!” Adidas PR excitedly informed us last week. The soccer Adonis, one-half of Posh-and-Becks Brit royalty and father to three creatively-named children (Brooklyn, Romeo, and Cruz), dropped by the Adidas Sport Performance store last Wednesday to promote the launch of his two new clothing lines. We’re happy to report that the studly Beckham, often given to marring his comely visage with an endless series of fugly hairdos, is now modeling a subdued mini man-mullet to showcase his charming good looks—which reminds us why soccer moms wanted to bend over for Beckham in the first place. (It also makes us think back to Posh’s comment that the reason she’s so thin is because Becks is such an animal in bed.) OK, well, anyway, clad in pieces from his accompanying line of Dragon performance wear, Beckham was on hand to take photos with his Predator Pulse soccer cleat ($210; street versions, $45 to $90). Apparently the shoe features studs that do not have to be replaced as often and PowerPulse technology that redistributes the center of gravity to increase ball speed. According to Adidas PR, it also has “a striking silver design featuring an Asian dragon with a hint of red, playing to Beckham’s interest in Asian culture.” Ahh. Excellent. Beckham’s accompanying Predator Dragon line of performance sportswear ($30 to $70) will also keep with the dragon theme, featuring embroidered dragon logos on each jersey and hooded sweat.

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Outrunning the Competition

So there’s a war in Iraq, Satan in the White House, and an environment in steady decay. Yawn. Now for some real news: Anna Kournikova will cut what must be the world’s largest shoelace, wrapped around the new Adidas shop! The groundbreaking event occurs at noon this Saturday, when the tennis star (along with Sebastian Telfair of the Blazers) opens the largest Adidas Sports Performance Store ever, located on Broadway and Houston.

The two-floor, almost 30,000-square-foot venue is the fifth Adidas Sports Performance store in the U.S., and the world’s largest. With a slew of advertising and celebrities like Kournikova, Telfair, Jeremy Shockey, and Laila Ali on hand, the company certainly spared no excess in promoting the event. A day of autograph signing, prize giveaways, and raffles will round out the day.

“We want people to think of the Adidas Sports Performance Store as more than just a store, but a destination for athletes,” says Paul McGuire, head of retail development for Adidas America. In keeping with the theme, the shop’s décor revolves around a sporty aesthetic: A simple black-and-white color scheme was chosen so as not to detract from the goods, shoes are displayed on running starter blocks instead of shoe racks, and products hang from what looks like weight-lifting bars.

Unlike the Adidas Originals Store on Wooster that hawks old school, street-style gear, the Sports Performance store will showcase Adidas’ new golden children: the Adidas by Stella McCartney apparel line, Mi Adidas technology, and the adidas_1, the world’s first intelligent running shoe. Clearly, Adidas is banking on a guaranteed audience among the city’s moneyed, fashion-conscious technophiles (with an athletic bent, of course.) Now that Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 Adidas line is in its sixth successful season, the company turns to McCartney’s clout and talent to capture more of active wear’s $39 billion market. Sales of the around-$250 adidas_1 have no doubt been buoyed by a sweet video/commercial from Spike Jonze, featuring vocals by Yeah Yeah Yeah’s frontwoman Karen O. And whether you’re an athlete or not, the Mi Adidas section of the shop will allow you to customize your sneakers for fit and function and even choose colors and personalized monograms (the shoe arrives in the mail three weeks later). This is apparently the only place in New York to score all three: adidas_1 and Adidas by Stella McCartney have sold out elsewhere, and Mi Adidas is only available in-house.

While this latest addition to the Broadway and Houston intersection might incite further breast-beating about Soho’s transformation into honking megamall, let’s be honest—the die’s been cast for a while, long before Pottery Barn hawked that first potpourri burner on the corner. We’re only shocked developers weren’t able to squeeze one more skyline-obscuring boutique hotel or luxury condo in that space.

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Shell-Toed Superstar

Me and my Adidas do the illest things / We like to stomp out pimps with diamond rings / We slay all suckers who perpetrate /
And lay down law from state to state /
We travel on gravel, dirt road or street /
I wear my Adidas when I rock the beat /
On stage front page every show I go /
It’s Adidas on my feet, high top or low

—”My Adidas,” Run D.M.C.

It was the advertising you could never pay for. After Run D.M.C. rapped about the superior shell toe in 1986, the sneaker became so synonymous with the image of old-school hip-hop that few realize the Superstar’s origins as a basketball shoe. Released in 1969, it was the first non-canvas shoe players wore widely from the playgrounds to the pro leagues, revolutionizing the basketball-sneaker industry. From the movement off the courts to the beginnings of hip-hop, then to a nationwide resurgence in popularity after its 1991 reissue, the Superstar has become a classic choice for the everydude.

Now Adidas is celebrating founder Adi Dassler’s creation from 35 years ago with a stunning collection of 35 new limited-edition versions of the original. The monster project is divided into five series—Cities, Consortium, Expression, Music, and Anniversary. Most of these have been reinterpreted with the help of luminaries from the worlds of art, fashion, and music. On March 19, the Adidas Originals store on Wooster is set to sell the Music series, limited to a small run, and designed by a diverse group of musicians and producers. Missy Elliott’s shoes are in her favorite colors, orange and purple; Ian Brown from the Stone Roses asked for his in a waxed leather to withstand the rainy British weather; the sole of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ sneaker features an image of Flea and Anthony Kiedis, who look like they are trapped inside the shoe. The Run D.M.C. pair is, of course, like the original—minus the laces.

A charity dinner and performance last Friday was thrown to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Adidas and to honor the life of Jam Master Jay, with all proceeds to benefit the Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music, a fund set up after the DJ’s death to help support music-education programs in inner-city schools. Fat Joe, Nas, Missy Elliot, Lil’ Kim, Naomi Campbell, MCA and Adrock from the Beastie Boys, and others turned out to pay tribute to the man and his sneaker. Time has shown the two can’t be separated.


High top or low
photo: Courtesy of Adidas

Shoes from just-released series are selling fast. In January, the Cities series, which represents metropolises from London to Tokyo (New York’s are a tribute to all five boroughs), was released with a large run and is still available. The Consortium series was a collaboration with notable sneaker shops around the world. With the smallest run, 300 to 600 per shoe, they were sold only through those selected stores and are now nearly impossible to find short of eBay, where New York store Union
‘s start at $340.

The third series, Expression, went on sale February 12. With a focus on the intermingling spheres of popular art, graffiti, and photography, everyone from the Andy Warhol Estate to renowned graffiti artist Lee Quinones to Rock Steady and Project Playground crew member Bobbito Garcia designed a pair. Even wearers can create their own design with the reissue of the 1984 Adicolor, a plain white Superstar that comes with a set of waterproof permanent markers. Interest in Expression was so intense that fans started lining up at 6 a.m. outside of the Adidas Originals store. The store sold out in one day, with the biggest seller, amusingly enough, being Disney’s Goofy pair. One of the few places left to buy Expressions are on eBay; sneaker boutiques like Dave’s Quality Meat , Nom de Guerre , and Alife Rivington
have already sold out.

The last series, Anniversary, will be released in April. The final collection celebrates the Superstar’s timelessness despite the remakes, reinterpretations, and reissues throughout its 35-year history. “That is the strong point of the Superstar,” says Matt Hollis of Union. “It’s been around and stood the test of time; we can try to reinvent it but ultimately it remains the same.”

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Bobbing and Weaving

“Well, actually, it says, ‘Fuck shit up,’ ” Garth Cabral explains when he’s asked about the faded Gothic lettering on a pair of soft cotton pants in the Cabral booth at TBC, a streetwear trade show in Chelsea that describes itself as being “like no other.” It certainly is unique in one respect—there’s an open bar starting at 10 a.m., so by the time the action really heats up, in early afternoon, a lot of the exhibitors are more than pleasantly soused.

According to Jono, one of the event’s publicists, “It’s a very egalitarian show! We didn’t want the biggest bucks to overtake the new kids on the block, who, let’s face it, tend to be the coolest ones. There are no maps; you’re forced to weave in and out.” So we weave, ignoring the installations set up by Adidas and other big-buck brands, seeking out instead companies with names like Chunk and Gsus.

At Outdoor Terrier, which is offering red-and-black checked wool jackets, the proprietor says the line is “very heavily themed. For spring, it’s pirates and tropical paradise; for next winter it’ll be cowboys and Indians.”

Outdoor Terrier isn’t the only business with a story line. The frustrated screenwriters at Trovata have whole scenarios behind their clothes. “Spring is blue-collar Caribbean—a blue-collar Tortola kid working in the cane fields. Then he scores a job on a yacht as a deckhand and gets luxury hand-me-downs!” explains the rep, a quintessential surfer boy who Jono is in love with. Fall is even more elaborate: “It’s about a guy called Fenton Parrish, a Dickensian character who works as a blacksmith outside London until an anonymous benefactor gets him a job as a tailor’s apprentice. It’s all about roguish prankery.” That, and blue cord trousers that have been artfully decorated with jacquard squares taken from an old sofa (their label says, “Exclusively for Fenton Parrish”).

At Uru, the rep stage-whispers that he’s not allowed to reveal exactly who designs the line, a brilliantly deconstructed group of patched shirts and charmingly ratty trousers. “It’s a British gentleman and an Italian gentleman.” Why do so many of the clothes feature overblown, cartoonish British pound signs? “When the Italian gentleman came to London, he was blown away by it.”

Though much of the stock at TBC claims to be unisex, it tends toward extreme boyishness—humongous tees and stocking caps—so it is a relief to visit Wolves, which the designer describes as “the girliest line here.” Our favorite Wolf is a slim checked reefer, with pink shoulder patches and a line of tiny, shiny snaps, that looks like a souped-up thrift shop coat. Asked how much influence mainstream fashion has on Wolves, the young designer says she doesn’t pay it much mind, then two seconds later confesses to an affection for Chloe and Marc Jacobs.

When we see a guy hawking cashmere sweaters imprinted with Warhol’s famous soup can, we playfully ask the wearer, who is also the seller, if he has the permission of the Warhol estate. Yes, he answers a bit too vociferously, but then again, maybe it’s the beer talking. In any case, he’s got other cashmeres we like too, especially one that carries the obscure legend “Less passion from less protein.”

Though we’re trying to avoid better-known brands, we make an exception for Stetson, which has been around since 1865, long before this notion of streetwear really caught on. (In fact, there were hardly any streets in this part of Manhattan in 1865.) Now the famous Stetson hats have been painted (“tattooed,” according to the rep) with trailing flowers—”It was a custom ordered by one of the Dixie Chicks!” and superheroes—”Joey Fatone got this one!”

These are not the only celeb names being bandied about: At Teenage Millionaire, where the specialties include T-shirts that read “Jesus is my homeboy” and minis in a silvery chain-link-fence print the company refers to as urban Burberry, the rep trills, “Ashton, Ben, Demi all wear our stuff!”

Desperate for a dose of ennui, we sniff out Morphine Generation, where we’re glad to hear that the name refers to “the numb, detached society we live in today.” Still, as it turns out, Morphine’s rep isn’t all that numb and detached. “We started six months ago,” he says, gazing fondly at a torn undershirt that reads “Filthy,” “and we’ve already got every major account. We got Barneys! We got Fred Segal!”