When DiverseWorks Artspace executive director Elizabeth Dunbar promised the eclectic crowd "a spectacular unlike any other fashion show you've seen before," she was not exaggerating. For when artists such as Rachel Hecker, Aaron Parazette and Sharon Engelstein joined forces with boutiques including Sloan/Hall, Dryden Kreps and Laboratoria for "Fashion Fete: Art of the Runway," it was definitely not your Oscar de la Renta fashion presentation.
Dunbar credited chairs of this exuberant fundraiser Liz Gorman, Tiffany Halik and Alton LaDay with a "Herculean effort" in bringing it all together at DiverseWorks headquarters in Midtown. It was their idea after all to transform the annual event into a fashion-forward style show featuring name designer looks with wearable accessories created by local artists. The concept was inspired by London-based artist Graham Hudson’s “hats” created for Comme des Garcons.
For this night, Hudson, a close friend of Dunbar, created a rambling, elevated runway of plywood supported by a network of pipes and positioned the bandstand at an even higher elevation. While models intermixed with dancers, choreographed by Lydia Hance, The Manichean band rocked the art space with its contemporary sound. Later in the evening, DJ Dave Wrangler would spin the vinyls.
Participating artists included Elaine Bradford, Jillian Conrad, GONZO247, Will Henry, Selven O'Keefe Jarmon, Rahul Mitra and Robert A. Pruitt.
Mixing it up on this lively night were Dr. Penelope Gonzalez Marks and Lester Marks, Judy Nyquist, Tatianna Massey, Lucinda Loya, Ceron, Barbara Davis, Evelyn Gorman, Edward Sanchez, Jonathon Glus, Kellye Sanford and Fritz Lanham, Vivian Wise, Stephanie Perkins, Toni Whitaker, Diane Caplan and Paul Pettie.