Glamourpuss: Fancy feline photos dress up Brooklyn Bridge Park

Glamourpuss: Fancy feline photos dress up Brooklyn Bridge Park
Robin Schwartz

Talk about cat fancy!

Portraits of felines dressed up in elaborate outfits will gussy up a fence below the Brooklyn Bridge this summer, as part of the fifth annual “The Fence” outdoor photography exhibit, on display until Sept. 20. The camerawoman behind the “Feline Couture” pictures says that the images are the next evolution of pictures she took as a child.

“I’ve done animal-centric projects my whole life and I dressed my cat when I was 10. I had doll clothes, he was really tolerant,” said Robin Schwartz. “I just played with him and photographed him. I haven’t changed, I haven’t matured — I just know a little more technically.”

The two cats in Schwartz’s stills — Gia and Starr Pritchard — are Cornish Rexs, known for their excellent dexterity and keenness to get into trouble. But during the shoot, even while wearing their elaborate wardrobes and fancy jewelry, the two felines were the perfect subjects — patient, comfortable, and poised, said Schwartz.

“They were professionals — it wasn’t hard. It was amazing. They are all individuals. Just like humans, these cats are unique,” she said. “They are like monkeys. They are real smart and use their hands, they get into trouble a lot.”

And the outfits they wore are just as extraordinary — intricately stitched and crafted by designers from all around the world, said Schwartz.

“It’s pretty extreme. The clothes and the details, they are expensive, they are really beautiful,” she said. “Those hats come from Israel. It’s very serious, and they are beautiful.”

Schwartz, who lives in faraway New Jersey, has experience with getting the best poses out of other animals too — monkeys, pigs, and dogs, she said.

“That’s all I’ve done all my life. That’s who I am,” she said. “This year I did swimming pigs in the Bahamas. That’s my niche.”

Schwartz’s stills of the swimming swines were published in The New York Times.

“The Fence” exhibition features the work of 40 photographers, displayed along fences in three sections of the park. The section labeled “Creatures,” where Schwartz’s photos appear, is in Fulton Ferry Park, while images of “Home,” “Nature,” and “People,” “Play,” and “Streets” appear on Water Street, and in Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier Two and Pier Six.

“The Fence” at Brooklyn Bridge Park [1 Water St. at New Dock Street in Dumbo, (718) 222–9939, fence.photoville.com]. Through Sept. 20. Free.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Fit for a queen: Photographer Robin Schwartz commissioned elaborate outfits for the kitties in her “Feline Couture” series, now on display in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Robin Schwartz