The Pier Antique Show happens only twice a year. It’s recognized as New York’s largest antiques, vintage, art and collecting event, with more than four hundred exhibitors under the roof of Pier 94 on the Hudson River. And it’s been around for forty years. So, by all standards, it’s a big deal.
I’m always scared to go to these kinds of markets. They’re too effective in their temptation and always break my bank. Nobody hauls out there with shitty stuff. The clothing vendors bring their prize pieces, from peacock princess dresses to trending separates, not only in hopes of doing great business, but also to be at a competitive level with the other vintage vendors – there’s about sixty, from all over the country. I’d wear blinders if I could, literally. Flaps covering my peripheral view so to just be able to skim the corridor and not be drawn in by all the colors and prints… Or… like this weekend, I bring a willing friend and dress her up. Then it’s work, not play.
“I’ve never heard of such a shoot,” Ulrikke frowns when I explain her what we’re doing. I tell her it’s like the food truck of photography: rather than bring the clothes to the set, we make the set where the clothes are. Twenty-year-old Ulrikke Simonsen has been living in New York for a few months as a model and slowly earning her stripes in the industry. Her mom was a model too, and quite famous at that. Her name was Renée Toft Simonsen and she was one of the original supermodels. A year after being discovered as a cashier at a supermarket in Denmark she appeared in American Vogue and became the fastest rising star of the international modeling world. She dated John Taylor, appeared on the cover of Roxy Music’s Atlantic Years album and was almost cast as a Bond girl! When she stopped modeling she earned her psychology degree and started writing children’s novels. And now she’s adapted a book into a screenplay. “I don’t know [the plot] actually,” thinks Ulrikke, “as I haven’t read the book. It hasn’t come out yet, I think they are starting the casting now.”
Ulrikke soon gets the hang of her “job”. She’s so caught up with the search I keep losing sight of her. She runs back and forth between booths, diving head first in the masses of clothes, only coming up for air to show me her latest find. We don’t have similar style, but she understands what makes a good picture, despite the fact that her Vans are not the appropriate footwear. “I dress intuitive, relaxed and colorful!” she finds. “I typically wear baggy pants with wide legs. I have a lot of different ones with different colors and patterns. And a basic sweater or t-shirt with sneakers.” We swap Tinder stories in between outfits, and complain that our skin color gets ashen during winter. “Do you know a great tanning salon in New York?” she asks. I bump into my sister Evelien, who’s on the hunt for furniture for her new apartment but dishes on the fur of her dreams instead. “For the vortex!” she claims. And, to my surprise, I end up leaving empty-handed. I guess I’ll have to get my fix in Miami next week!