Fashion Fridays: The Styles of NYC’s West Indian Day Parade

September 9, 2011

Words and Photos by Alex Solmssen

The LargeUp crew was out on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn in full force on Monday, with several photographers documenting the explosion of color that is the annual West Indian American Day Parade. While the elaborate costumes on the parade route are the obvious visual highlights, the individual styles of paradegoers on the side streets can be just as impressive. In the first of three posts documenting the festivities that we’ll be rolling out on the site today,ย  photographer Alex Solmssen captures and celebrate both sides of the festivities in equally vivid hues.

Its always a pleasure to see how Brooklyn dresses for West Indian Day. It’s a casual but by no means un-thought out vibe, a day when people show off really for themselves. Folks were out there liming, and seemed pretty happy to have their picture taken, so it was fun to let them open up and show off for me. The best experiences for me as a photographer documenting it were when I would say, “You’re outfit is so great, where are you from?” and the person would shout their parish or town with such glee, as if Port Anne itself had chosen that shirt-shoes-hat combination.