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Experimental Fashion Students Present Panoptic

Media coverage included Baltimore Sun's preview of the event, the City Paper's review and an interview on WYPR's Maryland Morning

Posted 03.08.10 by MICA communications

Panoptic logo created by Bri Antonaccio ’11

BALTIMORE--Artists and designers from MICA partner with North Avenue Market in the Station North Arts and Entertainment District to stage Panoptic: An Experimental Fashion Event on Saturday, April 3 at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Panoptic will transform the cavernous old market building, at 12 W. North Ave., into a venue for innovative fashion and costume design presented through visually stunning live performances and projected video.

The annual Experimental Fashion Event is a capstone for students in MICA's experimental fashion concentration. Students spend eight months designing and crafting their own body of work, while working collaboratively to produce a live show.

  • WATCH: YouTube clips of all the performances. (See below for a snippet of Yeji Byun's collection.)
  • LISTEN: Class instructor Valeska Populoh and student Amy Mann discuss Panoptic on WYPR's Maryland Morning with Sheilah Kast.
  • READ: An extensive Baltimore Sun preview of the show, including interviews with several of the students.
  • READ: A review of the event in the City Paper.
  • READ: Gutter Magazine featured Amy Mann's collection in the Spring 2010 issue, and it blogged extensively about the overall show.








Panoptic proposes an alternative to the linear runway show, presenting avant-garde fashions, visual narratives, video work and experimental choreography. This year's title was inspired by the idea of the show as a spectator event as well as the word's global meaning of "encompassing all or everything." The event features the work of 15 undergraduate students and involves the participation of more than 150 people, from designers and their models to participating performers, including roving costumed characters. Music and sound will be provided by J-No and other local musicians.

MICA's experimental fashion concentration enables fiber majors to take a structured, sequential investigation into the domain of fashion, art and culture. The program balances practice and theory, placing fashion in its broadest cultural context-from consumption to the global market.

Tickets for either show, which cost $5, can be purchased at the MICA Bookstore, 1200 W. Mount Royal Ave. Will call tickets can be purchased online at store.mica.edu. Limited tickets will also be sold at the door on the day of the event for $10.

About the 2010 designers

Senior Alex Baldwin is inspired by an eclectic mix of studies that explores restraint and dysfunction of the body: body theory, black metal, the occult, the bizarre, the surreal, the imprisoned and the history of the stripe. Her clothing makes the wearer become more aware of his or her body by inhibiting it-that is, one only realizes what the body is capable of through the limitations or impositions imposed upon it.

Junior Aaron Barlow creates elegantly tattered costuming to pair with his short films about tragic heroines. His collection involves several short stories relaying the trials, vanities and procedures women take to alter their physical beauty toward a perceived enhancement through the eyes of a man-and he will do it all with corsets and lace.

In her collection, Simply Voluminous, Yeji Byun explores volume and textures of garments. The junior uses a black and white palette to focus the attention on the structure itself, showing both simplicity and complexity at the same time.

Julie Cheng, a senior, will showcase her Acupressurist collection of interactive body suits composed of multiple lights that illuminate when distinct pressure points are pressed. Fascinated by the motion and poetry of the human form, Cheng's current works explore the nuances of internal body systems and the sustainability of found materials.

Senior Katie Coble explores how the body interacts with the space it inhabits and how choices are affected through the manipulation of options. Her multimedia performance explores these interests as her models actively and continuously rearrange, exchange and combine to form a larger functioning organism, similar to migration patterns and movements of a flock showing form and change.

In collaboration with a female singing duo, senior Sarah Konigsburg's collection for Panoptic, entitled Creation, will be showcased in a performance inspired by religious female figures, including a re-enactment of the birth of Eve.

Senior Amy Mann's The Makers: Part Deux collection tells the story of a family of artists who have survived the apocalypse. In search of beauty, they rummage through items that others have left behind. The family comes across an abandoned coat factory where they gather supplies and construct new garments reminiscent of the world they once knew.

Erin McAleavy is working with the ideas of storytelling, using body, costume and people occupying multiple roles within a story. As the storyteller, the senior has created a series of costumes to tell a specific narrative about a fisherman and a bear, and the costumes are meant to ride the relationship between garment, physical object and character.

The habits and uniformity of the business suit have become a fascination and focus of senior Megan Milostan, as she explores this symbol of power and intimidation. Her collection emphasizes the suit's attributes in reference to sports, material and body.

History is a central source of inspiration for senior Erin Morgan's artwork. This self-titled series of garments, which Morgan began by researching the origins of her last name, meaning morning in German, expresses what personal connotations she has to a new morning in a literal and abstract way.

With a fascination for vintage printed textiles and American handicrafts of the past, Beth Pakradooni created a line of clothing, recreating repeat patterns from original cloth and crochet work and printing it onto new fabric. Inspired by the form of paper dolls and furniture design, some of the senior's dresses alter the body's shape, walking the line between costume and party dresses.

In Sweet Somethings, senior Marla Parker showcases garments made to look like interpretations of cakes and pastries. The costumes and the models' styling are constricting, making movement and self-expression difficult as the women are on display like delicacies in a pastry case, but through their own actions ultimately become liberated. Parker helped found MICA's premier burlesque troupe and performs around the city under the stage name Scarlett Let-Her.

The source of inspiration for junior Jenae Smith's work begins with blue-collar workers and, most notably, her grandfather, an auctioneer who dedicated his life to his career and family. Her tribute to him, her of Her own collection, uses the jumpsuits he would wear to work to represent protection, self-reliance and pragmatism.

Working with the idea of historical personas, Julia Stone will present a stroll through time--a who's who of the great American war hero--through a sort of mock re-enactment of five segments of war in America during her presentation, Heroes and Villains. Pulling inspiration from child-like plays, the U.S. education system, and ideas surrounding craft and accessibility, the senior's "characters" will include figures from George Washington to Antonio López de Santa Anna in a variety of over-the-top costumes and situations.

Senior Vincent Tiley is researching how the American occupation of Japan and the relationship that resulted afterward have affected the cultural identity of both nations. Through his garments, he has tried to express the concepts of nationalism, globalization, colonization, optimism, tradition, modernity, humor and innovation.

To learn more about the individual artists or to schedule interviews with them, please call the Office of Communications at 410.225.2300.

Panoptic logo created by Bri Antonaccio '11

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 65 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

Panoptic: An Experimental Fashion Show

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