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Experimental Fashion Students Present RACK

Annual Event Kicks Off Week of Fashion With Two Shows on April 9

Posted 03.04.11 by mica communications

 RACK: An Experimental Fashion Event presents bodies of work pushing the boundaries of fashion and costume with performance and sound for two shows on Saturday, April 9 at 6 and 9 p.m. at 2640 (St. John's Church), 2640 St. Paul St. Tickets are $5, available at the MICA Book Store; limited tickets will be sold at the door for $10.

Participating artists explore the relationship between culture and the body through originally designed and constructed garments. The annual Experimental Fashion Event is a capstone for students in MICA's experimental fashion concentration within the Fiber Department. Members of the Multi Media Event class work together for two semesters designing and crafting their own body of work, while working collaboratively to produce a live show. Students present their innovative fashion and costume designs through visually stunning live performances and projected video. The evening will involve more than 150 people-from designers to performers, roving costumed characters and musicians.

About the 2011 designers

In Fly- Girls: Remixed, Sharela Bonfield takes inspiration from MC Hammer parachute pants as well as crazy quilts, and she reappropriates found track-suits from area thrift stores to create team uniforms for modern day fly girls. Bonfield brought her vision to professional dancers who came together to choreograph a routine that commemorates the fly girls of the late '80s and early '90s. Bonfield brought her vision to professional dancers Noelle Powers & Tawni, who collaboratively developed a performance piece along with fellow dancers Meghan Hawkins, Diana Mitchell, Dellonese Issac and Chelsea Morton.

Yeji Byun's line, Fashion comes and goes, looks at the cycles in nature just as in fashion. While every spring brings new blooms, they grow from the same soil as last year's flowers. The recurring motif of the floral pattern is a starting point for Byun's work. She is creating ready-to-wear garments by combining her traditional garment constructing with a contemporary color palette and digital prints.

Maria Chaverri's Seeds of Love explores the conflict between the art object and the runway. By growing plants into garments, she hopes her work will transcend the fashion arena in attempt to give her garments longevity and create a process for personal healing.

Captain of the Knitting Team, Rachel Christensen has been wrapped up in tedious, meticulous processes from the tender age of 8. Currently Untitled explores the idea of process. Gleaning inspiration from natural and technological patterns, Christensen's garment installations reference the process of making and the surroundings in which they are made. The act of producing the garment becomes more important than the finished clothing.

Jacob Whayne Dillow is fascinated with the power dynamic between the Believer and the Believed. They exist in a symbiotic relationship, dependent upon one another. What happens when a higher power is no longer believed in? Is there an afterlife for divinities? In Dillow's Apocryphal, the corporation, Orpheus Initiative, seeks to discover the physical afterlife in all its forms. During one expedition, a caver comes across a purgatory-like space where Christian saints who have been deemed apocryphal, invented, or completely forgotten reside.

In Steel Magnolias, Ginny Duncan seeks to communicate the idea that being feminine and being a strong, capable individual is not mutually exclusive. She references women's clothing styles from various cultures and historical periods that previously hindered and constricted women. In her collection, Duncan reinvents these as ways to give more power to the feminine presence. The garments allow the wearer to be active, retaining references to utilitarian work clothes and decorative women's clothing.

Kyle England's Material systems investigates the lines between art, religion and the occult through the meditative process of spectatorship utilizing the visual language contained within a garment. Material systems is an attempt to utilize and contextualize the overflow of devalued and discarded mass produced material.

Through examination of her family history, Mika Eubanks creates a body of work, Remembering the Future, that explores the importance of preserving the memory of oral traditions, stories and knowledge passed down through generations. Using textile imagery and hand dying techniques, Eubanks creates transformative performance garments. These function as mnemonic devices for various stories and oral traditions told to Eubanks as a child by members of my family. The garments function as wearable art, used in daily activities and sharing rituals, preserving those stories and traditions for future generations in a new and innovative way.

Sarah Ivancic's Monstrosities is inspired by a comment made in jest that a fashion collection be based upon dinosaurs. The concept took hold, presenting Ivancic with a motivating design challenge. The costumes enabled an exploration of textile techniques, such as surface design to create dinosaur inspired prints and textures. The conceptual challenge for Ivancic was to develop characters that represent ideas around feminine strength and power, through costume and clothing. What emerges is the flirtatious, lady dinosaur both terrifying and tantalizing.

Ballet and fashion have always made a great couple, both forms of art, both built on drama and beauty, with jaw dropping pieces of clothing at their center. Ballerinas evoke elegance, sophistication, athleticism, beauty, fragility, strength and sensuality but Soyoung Park's collection, Ballerina-meets-punk, can be described as playful, colorful and cheerful. The work of Oskar Schlemmer, a German painter, sculptor, choreographer and stage designer, inspires the collection.

Matt Reading's Smart Textile Circus is a carnival-like extravaganza of costumed performers and performative textiles, celebrating exuberance and engineering. His work is directed by an interest in craft traditions, such as crochet, costume and electronics.

Molly Roberts' Sprightly is a line of ready-to-wear garments created with the fashion-forward youth in mind. The collection consists of pieces intended to be versatile and unique--many pieces are crafted of one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed fabrics. Each garment evokes a sense of burgeoning energy and carries with it the feeling of spring.

Katharine Weintraub's collection explores the idea of people becoming consumed and defined by their ailments. Baffled by her own hypochondria and her family's reverence for medical professionals, she attempts to flesh out the relationships between doctors, patients and their conditions.

The title of Nolla Yuan's 2011 womenswear collection, Make Friends with UFOs: Unfinished Objects, is inspired by the fact that no philosophical idea is ever completely finished, thus even the finished objects still have infinite possibilities. Yuan dyes silk using colors extracted from a plant, fruit or vegetable and laser cuts lace patterns into leather. She combines this idea of going back to the past to nature with technological advancements by embellishing el wires into the garments, so they glow in the dark.

Graphic design assistance provided by Brianna Antonaccio for the second year in a row. She closely relates her work to fashion and is glad to develop her interests and skills as a graphic designer through this collaborative process.


RACK: An Experimental Fashion Show

    View a gallery of images from this year's designers »