Models perfect their shows hours before the curtain rolls, as they would for a typical fashion show, but these models have the unique task of posing in creations described as “wearable art”, moving from seamlessly in delicate paper origami dresses, porcelain-molded bodices and original watercolors applied to silk satin.
Designers put the finishing touches on their unique creations.
The Runway Art Exhibition “Scene to See” was launched as a way to showcase the talents of local artists and designers in an extraordinary way, according to Naples Art Executive Director and Chief Curator Frank Verpoorten.
“It’s really best described as a creative event that we started about five years ago, and it’s about wearable art, but almost in a utopian way,” Verpoorten said. “Art that defies logic, that’s almost not very practical to wear. Right? It’s art presented in a 3D form.
This year, thirteen artists present 38 imaginative and distinctive looks that vary in concept, medium and complexity. These designs are apparently more sculpture than fashion.
One features a model wearing silver chain mail and a crystal face covering, her neon green hair slicked back. She is dressed in a white bodysuit, at the top of the bodice, white cloud-shaped pendants are chained with silver O-rings, and at the hips, fluffy white clouds of cotton flutter in each direction. Cascading under the clouds, decorative chains and crystals simulate rain.
Husband and wife Rasit and Ilkay Turk return for their second year as designer artists in the “Scene to be Seen” fashion show. Originally from Turkey, the couple moved to southwest Florida in 2004. In 2018, they launched a luxury silk line of high-end accessories called Turk and Turk. Rasit says their design concepts come from everyday life.
“We follow no steps, no rules. Whatever happens in our life, we go for it,” Rasit said.
“Something, if we see, makes us excited, we’ll create the ideas, start painting or start making jewelry out of whatever experimental material,” Ilkay said.
For this show, the couple uses materials like coins to create necklaces, hundreds of golden Turk & Turk logos to form camisoles and silk dresses with their original sketches printed on them. One of their pieces is being auctioned off tonight to raise money for Naples Art’s educational programs. It’s a silk dress with a silhouette of the Naples skyline.
“When I saw the colors and the buildings, I didn’t see the buildings, I just saw a dress,” Rasit said. “And I just took my iPad, now there’s a lot of painting tools, you don’t need paper and watercolor anymore. And then what we did, we took the computer and we sent it for digital printing on silk.”
Ilkay says a single necklace took over a week to build for this show.
18-year-old fashion designer and artist Alanna Jewel Jaron says she decided to submit designs to this year’s ‘Scene to See’ because there weren’t many opportunities to show its economical and recycled creations. She describes her runway looks and inspiration:
“All are sustainably made from denim, t-shirts and stuff,” Jaron said.
“But I’m very inspired by punk fashion. But I really like, you know, the contrast between girly and feminine and punk too. You can see there are short skirts, but dramatic shoulders. I have lots of funny prints that really don’t make sense, like cats on fidget spinners and so on. But, you know, chains and black, and just rocker, you know, empowerment. J really like it all.”
Jaron says all of his materials come from thrift stores and are on their way to landfills.
“I think it’s great to get this stuff out of landfills and make art out of it,” Jaron said. “Since it’s here anyway, you know, we don’t need to use things that are new and produced all the time. You know, it can be recycled, sustainable.
As the production team gathers models and designers for the start of the show, music drawing attendees into the ballroom begins to shake the walls backstage.
Naples Art executive director Frank Verpoorten waits for the show to begin.
“It takes a lot of courage for artists and designers to, I think, really put themselves forward,” Verpoorten said. “And I want to encourage people to be in the moment, to be happy, to enjoy and enjoy everything tonight.”
Naples Art is currently looking for designer concepts to consider for its 6th annual “Scene to See” runway art show on January 14th next year. The deadline for submission is July 1. Artists can apply online.
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