Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Four Seasons in a Day: MECA Fashion Show

Satyr costume by Phoenix of Beastwares
On April 20, 2013, my alma mater, Maine College of Art in Portland, celebrated the addition of a new major to their curriculum: Textile and Fashion Design. They celebrated, appropriately, with a fashion show.

The inaugural runway event at MECA was a gala event with everyone dressed in their most fashionable, artistic best.

The show was organized into seasons, and each season was expressed through the talent of MECA student and alumni fashion designers. Each season was also interpreted from a Maine perspective: Winter is "all about layers,"  which I'm sure most of us in the northern reaches of the country can appreciate. It's refreshing to see fashion approached from a point of view that is both down-to-earth and exciting, practical and fantastical.

Model Sarah Harrington wears
The Lobster Parlor by Kelly Brophy
Rangely Morton, class of ’14, designed the gorgeous set, a honeycomb inspired backdrop that changed from one bright hue to another. The honeycomb design was apparently a gesture of appreciation toward Roxanne Quimby, whose financial support made the addition of the Textile and Fashion Design major possible. Quimby co-founded natural cosmetics company Burt's Bees in 1984. The company, founded out of a rural Maine home using extra beeswax from a honey operation, has become an international industry leader.

Crowd-pleasing designs included the one of a kind satyr costume from Beastwares (top left) which showcased structured leggings meant to imitate the hoofed beast's digitigrade (toe-walking) stance, as well as model and designer Phoenix's impressive strut.

Theresa Maria Gannett wowed the crowd with a neckpiece and bangles from her Demi Parure Collection. Alumnus Jason Morrissey collaborated with Gannett to create the metal cabochons for the clasp. Gannett is a senior at MECA.

Kelly Brophy designed The Lobster Parlour, an elegant and otherworldly dress created as a sort of homage to Maine's tenacious residents.

Throughout the mix of offerings and collaborations from MECA students and alumni were vintage dresses from Roxanne Quimby's collection, donated recently to the art school.

The fashion show was followed by an opportunity to shop from many of the pieces available in the show as well as a selection of vintage dresses. An after-party wrapped up the evening.

Dietlind Vander Schaaf, development officer at MECA, told MaineToday.com that “This is not your typical fashion show... It’s fashion that’s accessible. All people, all sizes, all seasons.”

It looks like the MECA Fashion and Textile Design major is off to a great start. As a lover of fashion and design, I can't wait to see what they come up with next!

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