At 7 p.m. Friday, the unique creations of a dozen local artisans will be featured in the Material Worlds fashion show at Ace Hotel Pittsburgh in East Liberty. The event is produced by LUXE Creative and presented by the Carnegie Museum of Art, where the exhibition “Iris van Herpen: Transforming Fashion” is on display in the Heinz Galleries through May 1. Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre dancers will be the models.
Earlier this year, the museum invited artists to submit ideas for garments they could create for the show in the spirit of Ms. van Herpen’s unconventional aesthetic. A committee selected the winners, who received a paid stipend and access to TechShop in East Liberty’s Bakery Square to help turn their ideas into something wearable in just a few weeks.
Because Ms. van Herpen’s work melds style with science and technology, the show’s roster of artists is a mix of fashion and jewelry designers, sculptors, architecture students and even a human hair artist. For some, the event is a chance to try something new.
“Fashion is such a different animal,” says Atticus Adams, a sculpture/installation artist based in Lawrenceville. “When a person is actually wearing it, it’s not just about seeing it but also what happens when a person moves in it.”
His large-scale abstract contemporary installations (which can be seen on cruise ships and in hotels, including at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort) usually are made from metal mesh. He’s constructed two pieces from aluminum mesh for the fashion show.
For others, preparing for Material Worlds was an opportunity to develop new skills. The project gave Squirrel Hill-based costume designer Julianne D’Errico hands-on experience with TechShop’s laser cutter and 3-D printer, she says.
“With costume design, you have to mold your own aesthetic to the needs of the production. With this, you have the freedom to launch off your own ideas,” says Ms. D’Errico, whose designs for the show are inspired by the birth story of the goddess Venus. “It’s exciting and really freeing.”
What if a garment could morph to reflect someone’s mood or movement? So-Hee Woo, an industrial designer in Shadyside, played with that concept for her designs, which include 3-D printed parts, mesh and more traditional jersey-knit materials.
“It will be exciting to be among a bunch of people who are interested in the arts in Pittsburgh,” she says. “I think it will be a unique experience where everyone can find that common ground between practice and interest and hobby and see how that combines and makes better art.”
Sara Bauknecht: email@example.com or on Twitter and Instagram @SaraB_PG.
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