Female dance troupes (once called "cheerleaders") are effectively a prerequisite for an NBA team these days, but few have a strong individual brand. Apart from the iconic Laker Girls, most of the groups do little to distinguish themselves from their counterparts around the league. That's especially true when it comes to their outfits, which range from short-shorts and low-cut tops to shorter-shorts and lower-cut tops. That's fine, of course, and fans seem to like it for obvious reasons. But there's nevertheless an opportunity for one team's dancers to show some individuality, if they so choose.
Leave it to the Brooklyn Nets and the dancing Brooklynettes, then, to be the innovators. On Tuesday, the Nets revealed their dancers' new outfits, which are heavy on leather, boots, gloves, and plenty of other looks not seen on most NBA floors. Check out the image above, plus another after the jump, and read this report from Annie Karni of the New York Post (via Deadspin):
Forget colorful pompons and bright hair ribbons — black and "stretch leatherette" is the tough and sexy look for the Brooklynette dancers, who will perform during halftime at the Barclays Center to cheer on the Brooklyn Nets.
"The uniforms are feminine and strong," said the costumes' designer, David Dalrymple, who has worked with fashion icon Patricia Field for decades, collaborating on costumes for "Sex and the City" and "The Devil Wears Prada."
Instead of hair scrunchies, the Brooklynettes have boots, studded fingerless gloves, zippers and latex. "This isn't palm trees and sunshine. It's New York City, and it's Brooklyn. It's a different sensibility. We go hard," the designer said.
Dalrymple, 45, had designed the red and blue costumes for the Nets dancers in New Jersey and was hired to give the outfits an edgy makeover to commemorate the team's move to Brooklyn.
The Brooklynettes (via Brooklyn Nets)Dalrymple designed seven outfits, including a "neoprene scuba blazer with sequin leggings," presumably for when the dancers perform as mermaids. It's a look befitting the Nets' new Brooklyn home, a place where online dating ads announce that women want to "wake up in a strange city." It's also, as Jason Johnson of fashion blog StylePoints noted, an aesthetic seemingly inspired by "the roller derby team from a prison film." (None of us will top that description, so don't try.)
The new Brooklyn incarnation of the Nets has shown no fear of bold stylistic choices. In just a few months, we've seen black-heavy logos and uniforms designed by part-owner Jay-Z and a herringbone-patterned home floor. If nothing else, the Nets will look unique next season. Only time will tell if they manage to win enough games to stay competitive with the elite teams in the East.
This new look may sound a little ridiculous, and in many ways it is. But in a league where most aesthetics veer towards dullness in order to appease as many people as possible, at least the Nets are going for something unique. The NBA could use more of that appetite for boldness, whether it comes from dancers, executives, or players. As long as Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov doesn't start wearing similar leather ensembles, this sartorial adventurousness is probably a good thing.
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