Looking Back at the Transformative Magic
of wearable ART XIV
From circus acts to giant balloon creatures to historic and futuristic get-ups, the annual event dazzled and amazed.
Sept. 22, 2018 |BY JULIE GARISTO & MIKELL HERRICK |
PHOTOS BY MIKELL HERRICK
wearable ART XIV brought us to the future and to the past and to imaginary realms.
The wildly varied, inventive runway fashions presented Aug. 25, 2018, at the Dunedin Fine Art Center excited spectators throughout.
The anticipated runway show featured presentations by Irina Bilka, Mark Byrne, Melissa Dolce, the Garden Fairies + Cosmic Cotton Candy , Julian Hartzog (with granddaughter Amelia Hartzog), Johnson Hunt, Kikimora Studio, Dacota Maphis and Lina Teixeira; hair & make-up by Salon GW.
Bilka, an award winning, internationally published Tampa-based professional hair and makeup artist, hails all the way from Siberia and has shifted her focus to fashion arts. She brought pastel fun and childhood nostalgia to the show with her Barbie Doll collection.
Showcasing a collection of incredible balloon outfits once again, this year with the theme “Mystique,” Mark Byrne creates his helium-filled wearable art off the runway, too. He entertains clients at exclusive events by creating one of a kind wearable art right in front of their eyes.
Reviving the magic and wonder of the circus, Dolce is a busy fashion designer who has been involved in all forms of art and design throughout her career. For her runway show, she created from a medley of unconventional materials, high-end fashion and fun costumes. Circus acts dazzled audience members, too.
Back for their seventh wearable ART, conjuring the over-the-top pomp of Marie Antoinette, artistic co-op the Garden Fairies worked for the first time with Lizz Sparkle and Cosmic Cotton Candy. Lead Garden Fairies designers are: Bonnie Bowman, Beth Warmath, Adrianne Butler, Demeree Barth, Terri Gray, Judy Ginader and Siobhan Nehin, with assistance from Shannon O’Leary-Beck, Ruth Bebensee, Hanna Warmath and Louanne Ramsey.
Cups runneth over could have been the tagline for Hartzog, who displayed far-out “Bras on Parade.” He won the International Award for the Americas for his wearable art, and three of his outfits are part of a permanent collection on display in New Zealand.
The “Mystical Sci-Fi” of Saretsky/Kikimora Studio was indeed a standout. The Kazakhstan-born artist lives and works in Miami, where she teach costume construction and other art disciplines. We were told in advance that “it will make you feel magical” — mission accomplished.
Speaking of otherworldly, Dacota Maphis created elaborate outfits for Urban Play that are mind-bogglingly eclectic and unique. The Greenville, S.C., native is is an award-winning artist living and working in Clearwater.
And speaking of Clearwater, multitasker extraordinaire Teixeira has been dividing her time between her duties as president of the city’s Downtown Clearwater Merchants Association, as proprietor of Pour Yours and Galleria Teixeira. Her collection The Evolution of Fashion revealed once again her penchant for both the classic and the unexpected.
Talk about standing out in a crowd. This design by Adrianne Butler of the Garden Fairies, part of their “Let Them Eat Cake” collection, took more than 200 hours to create. Butler considers it her best work to date. One of the most fantastic creations of the evening. Says Siobhan Nehin of the Garden Fairies collection this year:
“The collection evolved organically into a timeline, of historic to modern punk. A traditional approach was on display with Adrianne’s classic outfit and ending with Demee’s punk interruption.”