Wearable Art inspiration and materials can come to artists from any direction.
Ensembles that will be featured in 20th annual fashion extravaganza Saturday and Sunday make use of materials from objects seen overhead, trod-upon turf and everything in between.
“The material that this is is one parachute,” said Keren GoldbergBelle in an interview while gesturing toward a red, white and blue ensemble that she designed and will model. “My friend is a smokejumper from Fairbanks, and he was like, I wonder what you can do with this?”
What she decided to do with the silk parachute was create an “I Dream of Jeanie”-esque top and pants combo with ruffled accents that lend the piece a throwback vibe.
“The theme is sort of Abba meets Chiquita Banana,” GoldbergBelle said. “That’s what this is.”
GoldbergBelle has participated in three previous Wearable Art shows and decided to change her strategy based on past experience. The ebullient ensemble also matches Wearable Art’s theme of Joie de Vivre.
“This year, I was just like, I’m honestly not going to care about the hemlines because nobody is going to see them,” GoldbergBelle said. “The bigger it is, the better it is. The more wild and wacky, the more it will stand out. It’s going to be fun and interesting.”
Karen Smith and her daughter, Olivia Moore, are seeking a different sort of emotional appeal with their Wearable Art pieces.
In past years, Smith has filled the role of designer while Moore has assisted and modeled memorable dresses that included one made of metal and one made up plastic cups from Alaska Airlines. However, this year, they will be a mother-daughter tandem on the catwalk at Centennial Hall.
While Smith was cagey about what exactly their performance will be like, she said it will deal with her daughter’s impending departure for college and tug at the heartstrings.
“I want people to feel what we’re feeling,” Smith said.
The materials used will also be connected to Moore’s education.
Moore’s will make heavy use of artificial turf and tennis balls in light of Moore being a standout tennis player for Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé.
“My dress is mostly tennis net,” Smith said, but she declined to offer a preview glimpse of the dress.
“It’s a surprise,” Smith said. “No one can see it.”
In addition to new surprises, Wearable Art will include nods to the event’s 20-year history said Wearable Art production manager Meghan Chambers.
“The biggest thing for this year is this is the 20th anniversary,” Chambers said. “Our opening act pays homage to prior Wearable Art pieces.”
She said there will also be a retrospective gallery and a well-stocked silent auction, too.
There are still seats available for both Saturday and Sunday’s Wearable Art shows, Chambers said, but tickets are fewer and far between for the first day. There are about five seats open and two standing spots at cocktail tables open for Saturday. Tickets for the seats cost $50, and the standing spaces cost $30.
Sunday, the day that will include the announcement of the juror’s first-, second- and third-place picks as well as honorable mentions, still has 300 seats and seven full tables available. There are 10 full cocktail tables open for standing seats. The people’s choice award will be announced over social media Monday, Chambers said.
Standing spaces cost $20 while reserving seats costs between $30 and $80.
Proceeds from the show go toward supporting Juneau Arts & Humanities Council’s student arts scholarships and offsetting building maintenance costs.
“Over 20 years, Wearable Art has raised over $1 million for the organization,” Chambers said.
• Contact reporter Ben Hohenstatt at (907)523-2243 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @BenHohenstatt.
Know & Go
What: Wearable Art 2020: Joie de Vivre.
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 and 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16.
Where: Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive.
Admission: There are about five seats open and two standing spots at cocktail tables open for Saturday. Tickets for the seats cost $50, and the standing spaces cost $30. For Sunday’s event, standing spaces cost $20 while reserving seats costs between $30 and $80. Tickets can be purchased online through jahc.org.