LINCOLN SQUARE — While many attend Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week to seek out the latest trends, some style-conscious eccentrics come to live out their fantasies.
Avant-garde attendees that came to preview the Spring 2013 collections donned outfits that seemed more ready for carnivals than runways. Costume-like pieces included masks, face scarves, extreme headpieces and clown-like patchwork suits.
"I get my fabric and my dresses and my makeup and it works, it all comes together like magic," said an entertainer and writer who referred to himself as Jeremy "Extravaganza."
"I've learned to explore the many aspects of feeling fashion, feeling fabrics, feeling emotion."
The ebullient "nightlife diva" said that the after-hours scene was where he found his inner expression, a sort of "realistic fantasy" that he says exists to fight the death of bohemia.
Over the weekend, "Extravaganza" entered the tents wearing a full face scarf, heavy eye makeup, lip gloss and a flowing black dress adorned with sparkly, flower-like embellishments.
"It's a niche thing," added Marco Santaniello, a fashion designer and artist who also came to Lincoln Center wearing a flowing skirt, adding colorful kicks to the mix.
"I'm not interested for all of the world to take my stuff, but just the people who can get along with the idea of it."
For milliner and fashion journalist Natalya Bythwood Melnykova, designing hats is more about creating new trends than pushing the politics of extreme fashion.
Still, she agreed that her choices stemmed from a fantasy world, of sorts.
"For example, I did this hat because I saw Renoir paintings," Melnykova said, wearing a full-brimmed hat adorned with large, brightly colored flowers.
"So it is a kind of fantasy."
While many of the fashion extremists seem to enjoy the head-turning attention their pieces attract, some say they wear the items purely to speak to their own inner selves.
"I'm really oblivious," said Kaidon Ho, a Fashion Week volunteer. "If there was a subtle way to express yourself, I would definitely do that."
But all agreed that it was important for them to show their true colors through fashion.
"Fashion is the only fantasy that we have that is real and living," "Extravaganza" said.