It’s hard not to get a little lost on the floor of Basketball City, the new Eastside venue for Capsule, the fashion tradeshow which is becoming known for mixing lifestyle with hundreds of contemporary, indie designers and streetwear. The show, which closes today at 6 pm, is a three day long affair. One wonders why a tradeshow needs to offer so many days, but upon entering the space, you sense it: the expanse of the space, hundreds of booths and row after row of racks and shelves of what buyers will be stocking in their stores come Spring.
As we checked into the gleaming white space, we were handed a map and a novel sized tome, the official brand guidebook for the women’s show. Even after carefully researching brands on the Capsule website, the prospect of locating them in the maze-like rows of booths felt daunting. So we did a leisurely zigzag through the aisles, stopping to examine a textile here, a shiny bauble there.
Despite the venue’s scale, each brand has a decent amount of floor space, enough to accommodate a few racks and a small table for filling orders and not, as one young designer mentioned about the last venue “stacked on top of one another.” Some brands had sales reps on the floor, but for smaller labels, the designer often wears many hats and seeing a designer like Samantha Pleet working their own booth made us appreciate that fact a little more.
We stopped by to say hello to Lyz Olko of Obesity + Speed, a brand which has been expanding its offerings beyond signature cool tees for several seasons. For Spring 2013, the collection had a sporty feel, with mesh and printed sweat pieces. At the International Playground booth for local designer Mary Meyer, the offering was also more elevated, with intricate and colorful woven textiles. Many brands had bold color and rich textiles in mind for Spring, as it did for YMC, the London-based brand whose booth was bursting with fresh crafty floral embroidered dresses and cheerful paisley prints.
Lots of jewelry and accessories were represented at the fair, but one of the standouts was the booth for Mega Mega Showroom, which works with established and emerging accessories brands. Lauren Abend, one of the cofounders of Mega Mega, modeled a few pieces from Mociun and Lauren Lombardi for us, while we snapped a photo of her in a Spring top from Brooklyn based brand BHON. Christine Yoon from BHON looked on while we snapped Lauren and offered some words of encouragement: “Work that batwing, girl!”
Capsule is first and foremost a sales-driven event, and throughout the afternoon, we spotted animated sales reps chatting it up with buyers in their work uniform: fashion forward layers, statement jewelry piled on wrists and chic but practical flats. For those seeking a little R&R away from the Spring 2013 collections, a BBQ grill and red checkered picnic tables with a killer view of the East River beckoned showgoers to linger a little while longer before re-entering the fray.