Creating wearable art and flexing your design muscle.
Art is the single-most amazing medium for me to de-stress or just get lost in a vision. I often fall down a rabbit hole looking for inspiration to create photography or design. I could honestly stare at a beautiful cathedral’s stained glass all afternoon – watching the colors shift on the ground when the light moves.
I’ll drift off thinking about a piece I could make with watercolors – or the perfect hue to put a model in – it just sets my mind into a fever-pitch. When I create, I’m free from inhibition and completely in control of my movements. And I’m at my most unapologetic version of my inner self.
For the past four years, I’ve designed couture clothing for Scene to be Seen – a wearable art fashion show. Founded and curated by Naples Art, this event brings together wonderful creatives that challenge themselves to transform a medium into a piece of wearable fashion.
The incredible designs that manifest from these creatives’ minds are both breathtaking and daring. In the past, mediums such as bottle caps, hand-pulled wool, and teacup sets have graced the runway, leaving the audience craving more.
I tend to lean toward using paper to make my couture dresses. I love manipulating different weights, textures, and types of paper to build a piece that traditionally would have been created out of fabric.
Last year, I tried plumes, and although the piece turned out beautifully, it was super tedious to hand-wash buckets of bird feathers. Before your mind goes down the dark path, they were donated from the Bird Gardens of Naples – I wanted to recycle feathers in a fabulous way.
This year, I decided to work with pearls and coffee filters – a combination of flash and total normalcy. Combining these two mediums has allowed me to work both with a new medium and with an old favorite.
There’s something about layering materials. The way the textures build and the mediums contrast against each other is so interesting and fun to practice. There are no rules. You just stand back, look at the design, and create off feeling.
It reminds me of portrait and landscape painters – one of my favorite sectors of the industry. I used to watch Bob Ross religiously, so transfixed by his effortless movements. I was bewitched by how he could flick his happy little paint brush and create a fabulous scene straight out of the Chronicles of Narnia. Magic – just pure magic.
When I create, I love touching materials and playing with them to see how they move together. I can tell you for certain, using pages from a magazine was my least favorite medium. My hands were always stained with color because I would press and sometimes wet the material. You could probably read full articles on the palms of my hands.
I’m very random when I create as well – having built an entire piece and loved it one minute, and then tearing it up and starting from scratch the next. I am no tortured artist, no-no. I tend to think on every aspect and dream about a better version.
The next thing I know, I’m walking around the piece muttering ideas I dreamt about, and then I end up changing one more thing, one more thing, just one more thing. My husband now takes bets every year – he knows me so well.
Whether you’re new to art or long-time lover, I encourage you to pick up a pencil, brush, glue gun, or clay and just go create. It’s therapeutic, fun for the family, and could leave you speechless with what you create.