Special/Signature Issues » Belle

Couture With a Quirk



La Différence was transformed into a chic but eerie gallery for Wearable Art X, Richmond's annual fashion show showcasing the marriage between art and fashion. The juried show, started in 1997, drew multitudes of art professionals and students -- locals and out-of-towners — to its 10th production Nov. 10.

The show had a supernatural vibe: complete darkness save for the light emanating from the runway, smoke, creepy music, shadow dancing — even the presenter's voice was reminiscent of "The Twilight Zone." The fashion was fantastical, with garments constructed from old piano parts, duct tape and sheet music.

Richmond native Michael Taylor of Michael Taylor Couture headed up the show; judges included famed animator Bill Plympton. Among the prize-winning designs was a strapless tube dress from Megan Mueller made with tampons; Jennifer Spunningham's queen bee with a ripe pregnant belly; a sprightly tutu fashioned from grass from Sarah Perry; and Grace Johnson's gorgeous peacock with fully functioning wings.

Organizers aren't sure whether they'll continue the Wearable Art series, but this latest effort proved to be an unforgettable culmination of artistry and design.

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