Good taste struts, slinks, swaggers, and occasionally sashays around Indianapolis. We are indeed the Crossroads of America and fashion lives in that intersection. The Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) knows it, too and is home to Project IMA: Cutting Loose. According to their website, they "invited artists and fashion designers to submit original works for inclusion in Project IMA: Cutting Loose, a runway fashion show organized by the IMA, and inspired by pieces in Cutting-Edge Fashion: Recent Acquisitions exhibition." Circle City welcomes, and is home to, designers on the edge. Stephanie Perry, public relations manager for the IMA, tells me there is an Audience Choice Award, and a $1,000 for first prize.
Everyday, and for every exhibition, Niloo Paydar, curator of textiles and fashion at the IMA, brings her knowledge of textiles and fashion from all over the world to the IMA and greater Indianapolis community.
"We don't want our competitors to copy the legends, we don't want to see recycling, but we want them to be inspired and create something different. I think there will be many surprises in the show — we have incredible talent in the competition and I think, from experience, that what the piece begins as, is not always the way it turns out. And I think the competition will show that process, that design evolution. I think I'll be surprised, too, as will the other judges. This is a real, very serious competition, but also very supportive. We're not a department store, and we believe art is fashion and fashion is art — and also our mission — we do aim to teach, support, learn, and serve the
I don't envy the judges. They have a tough job ahead of them, at least based on the ones that I chatted with.
Dugdale will present Untitled, a Westwood-inspired design created by using a heat setting technique. “I seek to incorporate the theme of recycling into my art. I manipulate unconventional materials to create 'wearable art,' which combines my interests in art and fashion. This year, the Project IMA theme of “Cutting Loose” fits perfectly with my usual approach to art. I seek to create art that has never been seen before, and that brings enjoyment to peoples lives as well as opens their minds to new possibilities. Fascinated by shapes and colors, I have experimented with a variety of patterns and materials in my pieces. My garments for Project IMA: Cutting Loose include a skirt, a top and a jacket. I incorporated recycled materials for the top, namely, fabric samples. The jacket and skirt are made out of the scraps from the skirt, which I manipulated by using the fold and clamp technique. I hope that many attend Project IMA this year and will open their minds to a new idea of sustainable development: wearable art.”
Helen Koo & Manilette Uy
As members of the Fashion Design and Technology Lab (FT Lab) in Design at the University of California, Davis, Koo and Uy will showcase The Real Beauty of Body, a design infused with elements of technology. Koo: “FT Lab is an incubator for young creative designers and researchers. We develop fashion designs and products with multidisciplinary technologies for advanced aesthetic and functional values. Wearable technology is one of the new types of garments that represent our culture and technologies for the future era. Inspired from new and innovative experimental designs of Rudi Gernreich. New materials that were not much used for conventional garments and new construction methods were explored. We were inspired by Gernreich’s 60’s futuristic and minimal look, the structured shapes were constructed with neoprene fabrics and redesigned body shapes. The real beauty is not only from a beautiful body and clothes that we can see but also our inner beauty and health.” Uy: “My work for the competition is futuristic, and was inspired by the muscle lines of the body. I am a senior at University of California, Davis studying Design. I've had internships at O, the Oprah Magazine and Kate Spade New York, but this summer I had a fashion design internship at Erin Fetherston. These experiences have widened my view of the fashion industry from the public relations side and the design side. My main supporters are my friends, my Professor, Helen Koo, and my family – especially one of my older sisters who let me stay with her in NY for all three summers. I have many goals in life, but I'd like to work in the fashion industry either in design or marketing.”
Known as AnchoredLotus, up and coming designer Marcheleta will share an outfit designed to go from straight from bed to the office: Cutting Loose of Morning Routine. “I entered into Project IMA after being pushed by (this might sound crazy) a friend who's a tarot card reader! I have been trying to get together a small line of slinky sleepwear that can be worn under clothes with the help of a couple local designers, Angel Olivera and Barbara Riordan. I was inspired by the French tradition of wearing lingerie at all times. Its not necessarily for anyone to see because they can feel it under their clothes. They sleep luxuriously in silk slips and I thought, what if you could roll out of bed and make that slip a camisole and panty? You could keep that sexy feeling of luxury all day and only you would know you got dressed in 30 seconds flat. I was very surprised that many of the designers and artists I have met in this community are not participating in this event. Indianapolis has a good sized design community for such a small city and I had hoped to be able to get to know them better through this competition. I loved finding out that I got in but many of the designers I look up to here made me very nervous; I'm not an avant garde designer and I'm not as established as many in this city. I just hope every one likes my entry and can see what I am trying to do which is change the way women wear lingerie.”
Born and raised in Zimbabwe and a recent graduate from The Art Institute of Indianapolis, Mazorodze will present Lunar Eclipse: Earth, a geometric white jumper and high-collared wide coat ensemble. “I was born in Zimbabwe and moved here when I was 18. I recently graduated from The Art Institute of Indianapolis with a Bachelor in Fashion Design. For the IMA project I was inspired mostly by all the great designers in the exhibition. My favorite is Issey Miyaki. Playing with shapes and pleats is one of the innovative elements I have ever seen in the fashion world. Even though I did not use pleats I designed something that incorporates shapes and defining a woman's body in a flattering way. I love thinking outside the box and defying the odds. The fashion industry right now is filled with so many people with great ideas but do not have a chance to showcase unique pieces because of mass production . No one has the time to enjoy wearing that one special dress because it is now only good for that one day, tomorrow there is something else hip. It is wonderful that people are able to access some things faster than before but we need to go back to the basics that way people enjoy fashion and actually appreciate it in all its glory. My goal is to create pieces that are memorable and timeless as well as functional. My biggest obsession right now is high collars. Anything high up the neck to accentuate a woman's neck. Make her stand and feel tall. My family and friends are my number 1 supporters. They push me to be a better designer every single day. They are always there to encourage me to task risks and follow my dreams no matter how crazy some of my ideas are. They see the passion and the potential and they are there to make sure I do not fall in my footsteps. I hope to have my own line someday and be able to stand next to some of the great designers all over the world. To be a household name would be an amazing feeling. My dream is to have a menswear line and introduce new ideas because I feel like the fashion industry has not quite tapped into the men's world and it is just waiting for me to dive in and make it happen.”
A street-wear designer and fashion design student at Indiana University, McNeal will share a music-inspired creation, CC-1. “My design process changes a little every time depending on the source of inspiration. In general, I start with the illustration first, then source fabrics, make the patterns, make the mock-ups, do fittings and then make the final product. My designs tend to change a lot during the make the pattern stage because often I think of something different or interesting to add to the pattern. I make all of my own patterns and I sew everything by hand using my home sewing machine and serger. Most of my inspiration comes from music; I listen to music all throughout the day. If I hear a song or an album that inspires me I will listen to it on repeat and design. Fabric, nature, and movies also often inspire me. My love for fashion came from my grandmother; she was a very well dressed. She taught me to present myself well, to have fun with my style, and to dress for tomorrow not for today. The local fashion community is small but it is definitely growing; there are so many talented people doing very cool things right now and luckily I have gotten to work with some of them. I really just started getting involved in the Indy fashion industry this past summer, and everyone that I have met has been supportive and encouraging. What makes this show stand out for me is that it celebrates fashion design as an art; it expands on the creative side of fashion and not just the practical side of fashion.”
Moretz, who kicked off her fashion career as the designer and owner of Colleen’s Couture, will showcase a piece inspired by 18th-century fashion titled Transparente Pannier. Colleen Moretz started her career as a fashion designer and owner of Colleen’s Couture. Her first design contract was with the DuPont Company. Her fashion designs have been featured in exhibits at the UD@Crane in Philadelphia, Mahady Gallery ay Marywood University, Goldstein Museum of Design at University of Minnesota, winning the Dean’s Scholar Award. Moretz has a BS in Fashion Design and an MFA in Visual Arts from Marywood University. She is teaches fashion design at Immaculata University, Moore College of Art and Design, Drexel and University of Delaware. “The design features a pannier constructed from hoop steel wire and plastic boning covered in violet silk. Accent pieces on the bodice and a pair of shorts (worn under the pannier) are also made from the violet silk. A V-shaped stomacher (worn over the stomach and chest) and the band at the edge of the skirt are constructed from a floral silk. The remaining skirt and bodice are made from a solid silk.”
A self-taught designer and native of the Yorùbá tribe in Lagos, Nigeria, Sanni will present Àwọn ọmọ Yorùbá in Diaspora, a piece inspired by her cultural heritage. Stylenspire
is an Afro-Contemporary women’s clothing brand that celebrates heritage fashion in today’s style. Yemi [owner/designer] uses traditional African Ankara wax, voile lace and hand-cut lace in her designs, which gives a distinguished edge to the clothing line. 2015 has been a remarkable year for the Indianapolis based handmade clothing brand. The growth to grace has been from strength to strength, and hope for the future of the brand is illuminated with numerous possibilities of success. As a Design-Style Artist, Yemi loves tailored clothing; but the punch that heightens the clothing design is the mix of print and patterned fabrics. For her, “wearable art should not be so complicated that a woman would think twice about it. The true Stylenspiration
of my designs come from the instant delight, when a woman identifies that this is a design that is me; a fashion that can translate my style preference in a variety of ways. This is why I Stylenspire
Other designers include:
Rachel Anderson— With a background as an apparel patternmaker, merchandiser and bridal and eveningwear designer, Anderson will showcase Klein’s Blue, a garment inspired by Stephen Sprouse.
Beth Bennett— A 25-year veteran in clothing, costume and bridal gown design, Bennett will showcase a coat romper, titled Romp, inspired by works from Zandra Rhodes and Claire McCardell.
Nikki Blaine Couture— Blaine, an Indianapolis native, is the winner of multiple awards among the local fashion community and will present Nichiwa, which explores the relationship between Asian cultures and nature.
Nico Camargo— An avid consumer of scientific and technological news, Camargo will share a design inspired by futuristic concepts and Space Age fashion titled Flying Dress 1.
Cloud Preaser— The collaboration of Ian Kime and Heidi Wieland, Cloud Preaser will showcase Float, a two-piece evening dress created from relics of a former art performance, including plastic inflatables, vinyl, Velcro and a hand-crafted copper wire hoop.
Hop Esser— A Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist, Esser will showcase two pieces: Bird Shoes, a metaphor for stability and struggle, and Key Dress, a garment made of antique keys that speaks to the role of memory, home and the remnants we carry throughout our lives.
Grace Lee-Lim & partner— Inspired by society’s perception of beauty in the 19th-century compared to modern times, Lee-Lim will share Kathleen Dress, playing off of the unconventional proportions and shapes seen in the work of Comme des Garcons.
Red Ribbon Designs— The new and growing design company Red Ribbon Designs presents Show Me Your Bones, a gown created from x-ray printed silk georgette panels and accompanied by a leather coat, Paris top hat and custom heels.
Maison Pomme de Terre— The new family-run boutique and start-up design troupe created exclusively for Project IMA will showcase the quirky The “Donut Wear It On Your Sleeve” Ensemble, made entirely by hand from recycled materials.
Sallie Pasquinelli— With a passion for Assemblage, Chicago-based Pasquinelli will present Another Beautiful World.
Vestonia Richardson— Richardson, a custom fashion design for women and children’s wear, will present Love, a cocktail dress with heart-shaped cut outs.
Theresa Winge— Winge will showcase Chute, a gown with a train designed from a parachute, inspired by Norma Kamali’s Pantsuit, “Parachute” Collection.
Project IMA: Cutting Loose
When: Oct. 9, 8-10 p.m.
Where: IMA, 4000 Michigan Road
Tickets: $15 IMA members, $20 Public