Ever since I took AP Art History junior year at my high school in Minneapolis’ western suburbs, I have been enamored with the black right angles and the crisp use of primary colors in the works of Dutch artist Piet Mondrian, member of the early 20th century art movement neoplasticism, also known by the Dutch term De Stijl, or “the style.”
Mondrian’s planar color fields have inspired many designers in the ensuing decades, notably Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian day dress from 1965, today part of the collection at the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute. More recently, Nike released its Dunk SB Low Piet Mondrian sneaker, and dozens of sellers on Etsy have shown design through a square lens.
And this year, I decided to take a 90-degree Halloween turn into costume esoterica.
What better way to celebrate the bright-tighted, Britpop mod redux seen so often on Williamsburg’s streets? Besides, Mondrian holds rightful claims to being a Brooklynite: his final resting place is at Brooklyn’s Cypress Hills Cemetery, just east of Bushwick.
A fruitless search for Mondrian-patterned tights led me to make a late-evening trip to the Target on Atlantic Avenue, where I managed to snap up a pair of white opaque ones for $5. After spending a bit more on fabric paint and a paintbrush, I swung by the loft space of online vintage fashion marketplace Market Publique, where proprietor Pamela Castillo held a Halloween costume DIY party Wednesday evening.
Castillo’s work space, just off of Bedford Ave, offers numerous opportunities to play dress-up. One of my fellow guests, Williamsburger Brooke Moreland, the mind behind fashion social media site Fashism, set off on sorting through the resident treasure trove. Falling short of components for her Blair Waldorf-as-roller-derby-princess costume, she instead found items for her daily fashion rotation.
The next part of my Mondrian DIY can be found here.