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Designers gone wild: Wearable Art 5 comes to Dunedin


Dryer sheets are pretty in pink.

Brooms can make sweeping fashion statements.

And bubble wrap is becoming.

It's couture gone crazy as the Dunedin Fine Art Center presents Wearable Art 5 on Saturday night.

The feisty fashion fest begins at 7:30 p.m. with live music (Aimee Trachtenberg and Dave Helm) and drinks for sale.

The runway show, featuring the works of nine bay area designers, gets under way at 9 p.m. It's followed by an afterglow get-together with more music (by Ramblegrass) and drinks.

"I think this is going to be the best party in the Tampa Bay area," said Kaya Jill, the event's curator.

The fifth annual affair brings "some wonderful new designers and some old favorites who are working really hard to create some new surprises," she said. "It will be a performance, not just a fashion show."

Tickets cost $15; reserved seating is $50 and $75. The event is usually a sellout.

Ungala, the official house photographer for the Salvador Dali Museum, is one of the new artists this year. She plans to bring 13 spray-painted outfits created from bubble wrap.

Why use packing material?

"Why not?" she asks. "It's fun and whimsical."

Cindy Linville, a Largo designer, has developed a clothing line she calls Vessel. Her brand takes found items from yard sales, thrift stores and friends' closets and turns them into one-of-a-kind outfits.

"Recycling is important to me," she said. "I don't want to waste anything for my art."

One of her ensembles melds an Andy Griffith T-shirt from a Goodwill store with a pink tutu made from used dryer sheets.

Ivanka Ska, owner of House of Ska, a showroom and modeling studio in St. Petersburg, returns from a long absence with a papery collection inspired by origami art.

Her designs will be introduced by tumbling gymnasts and modeled by "robots," she said.

Rogerio Martins is a perennial favorite who brought raw meat and vegetables to last year's table. This year, he is staying away from edibles with a collection he calls African Paradise.

One of his designs pays homage to Yansa, an African goddess.

Her headdress and skirt are created from natural sorghum broom material, and her bra is made of coconut fiber.

The dress is a metaphor "to sweep away evil spirits," he said.

And Frank Strunk III, a metal artist from St. Petersburg, will propel the show with his rocket launch skirts and over-the-top bustiers.

"I have a pair of space vixens who are very buxom," he said. "Their curves forced me to push the limitations of the metal."

He'll bring an "animal girl" in a cage and an "illuminated goddess" with electronically controlled lights synchronized to music.

"When I see her dancing with the lights on," he said, "I can't even believe I made it."

if you go

Wearable Art 5

What: A fundraiser for the Dunedin Fine Art Center

When: Saturday preparty at 7:30 p.m. at the art center. Fashion show at 9 p.m. at the adjacent Dunedin Community Center. Afterglow party follows.

Where: 1143 Michigan Blvd.

Tickets: $15 general admission. Drinks are extra. Reserved seating (if still available) is $50 and $75.

For information: Visit or call (727) 298-3322.

Designers gone wild: Wearable Art 5 comes to Dunedin 08/13/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 13, 2009 3:50pm]
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