Louisville Fashion Show Features Wearable Art Made From Unconventional Materials

Coffee filters, rubber bands, road maps, party streamers, and even shards of Plexiglass will be on display—as materials used for clothing—at an upcoming fashion show presented by the Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft.

KMAC Couture, annual runway presentation and fundraiser for the museum, on Friday showcases “wearable art” in a variety of styles and created from a variety of unconventional materials.

Many of the artists involved have never made clothing before, and while they do have to make something wearable, their creations do not have to be practical, said KMAC Associate Curator Joey Yates, who is supervising the show.

“There’s always this element of fantasy with high fashion,” Yates said. “If you think of Alexander McQueen or Jean Paul Gaultier, they may make some things that we all could wear if we could afford it, but they also present these statement  looks, that are just about the fantasy of the kind of clothes that they’re interested in.”

Here are some of the pieces:

Maui Crane's "Queen of Flames," made of  red candles, wax, epoxy and matches.Submitted photo

Maui Crane’s
“Queen of Flames,” made of
red candles, wax, epoxy and matches.

Brooks Vessels' "Hello Doily," made of  paper doilies, cut china saucers, teacups.Submitted photo

Brooks Vessels’
“Hello Doily,” made of
paper doilies, cut china saucers, teacups.

Maui Crane's "Thunderstorm Princess of Darkness," made of more than 10,000 yards of brushed acrylic yarn. Submitted photo

Maui Crane’s
“Thunderstorm Princess of Darkness,” made of more than 10,000 yards of brushed acrylic yarn.

This year’s show includes about 40 designers and artists, nearly half of whom are local elementary and high school students from Collegiate, Christian Academy, Sacred Heart, and duPont Manual.

This year’s show includes a dress made of corn cobs and corn husks, a piece comprised of handmade glass rings stitched together, and a contribution from Louisville-based designer  Gunnar Deatherage, who is former contestant on the television competition show “Project Runway.”

“It’s a very sort of formal but eccentric kind of evening gown shape,” Yates said of Deatherage’s gown.

“It’s made out of canvas that a painter would use, and he’s painted onto that canvas different words that point to certain ways that artists can be exploited.”

A combination of professional and novice models will walk the runway, with ages ranging from children to older adults. Each artist works with hairstylists and makeup artists to complete their look.

The event will take place under a tent next to the Green Building on East Market Street.

The pieces will then be on display at the museum on Main Street until May 10.

Tara Anderson

Tara Anderson is the arts and culture correspondent for WFPL News.