DUNEDIN — Dunedin's favorite dare-to-wear show is back with corsets of copper, clear plastic skirts and edible eye candy.
Are you blushing yet?
If not, you may be by Saturday night when Wearable Art 6, the Dunedin Fine Art Center's highly successful runway show, will squeeze art, fashion and creativity into a curvy evening of fun and surprises.
It all begins Saturday with a 7:30 p.m. preparty at the art center. Then at 9 p.m., models strut the catwalk at the adjacent and roomier Dunedin Community Center. An afterparty features the live music of Have Gun, Will Travel.
In the past, the soldout shows have wielded eye-popping balloon dresses, raw meat bikinis and riveting bras of steel.
Special events director Kaya Jill said this show will not disappoint.
"It should be the best in six years," she said. "Every year, we learn something and try to improve. We have an amazing group of artists this year with some outstanding designs."
Perpetual crowd pleasers Frank Strunk III and Rogerio Martins are returning, but Strunk, an industrial artist who has wowed crowds with his headlining metallic designs for the past five years — think Silly String propelled from a brassiere — said this was his swan song.
Buoyed by the fact that he won third place — and $1,000 — in a New Zealand wearable art show, he said he plans to move into the international design arena.
"Hopefully, I've inspired other designers to become more creative and uninhibited and they will take over where I left off," said Strunk, 46, of Gulfport. "Dunedin's been a great place to hone my skills and gauge people's reactions."
He will open this year's show with a collection of "flexible" metal ties, purses, corsets and waist cinchers made from copper, brass, aluminum and such. Some will be sold after the show.
Brazilian designer Martins, 37, of Redington Beach will feature a collection he calls Prelude; it's a collaborative effort between him and his artisan friends and a bit more brooding than his past creations.
"I'm beginning to see and understand things around me in a new way, and this is about my pain," he said, citing the recent oil spill, wars, climate changes and global catastrophes. "These designs symbolize a cry for our future."
One outfit, the Cyborg Matador, has a Spanish top and peek-a-boo plastic skirt. It's his anti-war statement.
"The clear plastic asks us to examine ourselves more clearly and figure out what are we doing in these wars," he said.
On a happier note, Patti Coleman and Marsha Goins will pay tribute to their new store in downtown Dunedin called the Candy Bar Sweets and Treats.
The longtime fans of Wearable Art decided to partner with Dunedinites Deborah Kynes and Candy Barnette to create a collection they call "Five Edible Pieces."
"We've gained quite a bit of weight getting ready for the show," Coleman joked.
They'll be dishing out plenty of candy-themed music and sweet creativity in their production, which includes a lollipop dress and man's kilt.
Dunedin artists Kim and Rick Brincklow will be recycling magazines, blue jeans and Capri Sun drink pouches.
"It will be very tasteful," he said.
Architect Joseph Mastropaolo and interior designer Vicki Rich, both from Tampa, will use products such as carpet padding, building envelop wrap, wall fabric, upholstery and plastic laminate chips to build their designs.
Look for jewelry designer Donna Mason Sweigart's colossal necklaces to make some big statements about how we adorn ourselves.
And Ivanka Ska, owner of the online design store the House of Ska, found her inspiration in a band of Gypsies she saw on New York City streets.
"Their clothing combinations were unbelievable, a mesh of very different designs," said Ska, 38. "That gave me the idea to create clothing for very fashionable gypsies — in the year 3000."