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Activists gathered Saturday at the East Village’s Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space to celebrate individuality, sustainability and a very radical sense of style during the museum’s first-ever Direct Action Fashion Show. The improvised runway show, which was held in the adjoining C-Squat basement at 155 Avenue C — a space often shared with MoRUS — featured colorful and quirky costumes that highlighted the neighborhood’s grassroots history, as well as direct references to community garden activism and other environmentalism efforts.
The evening began with a characteristically raucous performance by the Rude Mechanical Orchestra — a band generally found on the front lines of social justice protests — and included dozens of catwalk participants, all of whom were worried less about “modeling” and more about expressing the vibrant spirit of antiestablishment movements.
Along with the outfits made and worn by various neighborhood eccentrics, some members of well-known direct action groups — like Earth Celebrations and the Occupy Wall Street Puppet Guild — made flashy appearances. And after it was all said and done, the activist models took one more stroll down the runway, accompanied by costumed MoRUS staff members, for a totally radical dance party.
– Sam Spokony