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Fashion / Style

A Flower Grows in Brooklyn
Wearable and Saleable Art by Kathleen Laziza
Micro Museum - 123 Smith Street

Written by Wendy R.Williams
Photographed by Mary Blanco

Model by Cynthia Hartzell(the Jaguar girl) and Ryan Link (formerly Roger in Rent)

A Flower Grows in Brooklyn

Professionally Designed Postcards - $99

Do you want to harness your inner rock star? Bring back the spirit of Ziggy Stardust? Pretend you are a cast member of The 4400 who was plucked from the streets of Greenwich Village in the late Sixties. Well, get on the F Line subway to Brooklyn and disembark at the Bergen Street and walk down Smith to #123. There Kathleen Lanziza has harnessed her inner flower child and designed a line of jackets that can make you a part of a living garden.


On June 4 th, Mary, Cynthia, Ryan and I went to Brooklyn to check out these jackets and we had a marvelous time. Each jacket is individually designed and totally unique; wear one of them and you certainly will not see yourself marching down the streets of Soho.

After the photo shoot, I emailed Kathleen and asked her about the jackets.

Wendy: What inspired you to make the jackets?

Cynthia Hartzell

Kathleen: THE SPRING FEVER COLLECTION began in 1994 when I was struck by the concept about what builds self esteem.  I had several students working at the Micro Museum who were so insecure with themselves that I was stunned by their lack of personal risk taking and fun-loving.  (I am sure much of this is in contrast to my extroverted self ).   I wondered what it would take to produce an attitude adjustment.  So I came upon the concept of wearable art. I first I made them for my family and then for friends who were willing to give me a jacket. 

Wendy: Where have they been worn?

Kathleen: I had a formal photography shoot arranged for them in 1996. I then was hired to have them be a part of other people's family celebrations.  They are natural ice-breakers.  I continue to build them, adding two to three yearly and allowing them to be displayed in unusual situations.  Recently they were part of a performance art work by Ophra Wolf, "Pursuing the Pulse" at the Joyce Soho. The audience members were invited to put them on and were lead into an interactive sound/movement environment where they posed, danced and responded, triggering visual imagery for the performance piece.   The work was a collaboration with NYU's Interactive Telecommunication Project.

Ryan Link

Wendy: What kind of people buy your jackets? Any interesting stories?

Kathleen: The Brooklyn Borough President commissioned one last month for the retirement gift to Judy Zuk, the former President of the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. 

Wendy: Have you approached Elton John?

Kathleen: I personally think that Elton John would be a spectacular candidate for a jacket, although I am sure he needs no self esteem boost or feels the need to break any ice.  But he would radiate even brighter wearing my flora. Besides, I frequently work out to "Benny and the Jets". (Hey Elton, you can email me at wendy@newyorkcool.com and I will set you up.)

Wendy: Do you wear them yourself? How about your husband? Does you mother want one?

Kathleen: Yes, yes and yes. The beauty of these jackets is that they look wonderful on a variety of people, making the concept of "the beautiful people" expand. 

Wendy: Where did you get the jackets and your materials (you don't need to give away trade secrets)?

Kathleen: The flowers and jackets make their way to me through the universe.  Each jacket speaks to me "as it were" and therefore they are equally unique and inviting. 

Ryan Link and Cynthia Hartzell

So there you have it. For more information, log onto: www.micromuseum.com

Micro Museum | 123 Smith street


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