The Centre for Creative Arts’ (CFCA) Wearable Arts show is returning to full force this year after a couple of years of hiatus due to the pandemic.
The fashion show by local artists will return to the walkway this year for its 11th iteration.
“Our artists make outfits out of unconventional materials, sometimes recycled materials, or things you just wouldn’t consider a fashion material; sometimes it is conventional but the designs themselves are just out of this world,” said Candace Hook, CFCA executive director.
The centre is seeking more artists to join the show and has extended the submission deadline to July 31.
“A lot of times, it takes people a lot of time to percolate on the idea, so it’s normal for us to receive a big rush of entries right at the deadline,” said Hook.
“You don’t have to have a completed piece to apply.”
Artists can apply at creativecentre.ca, where they just need to let the centre know they want to do it and what they will be working on.
She noted the website also has images of previous collections. A display at the Prairie Mall is currently showing some of the outfits created for past shows.
“If someone’s not sure and they’re on the fence, just reach out to us because we’d be happy to help them through their application and really through the whole process, start to finish; it’s a really great opportunity for emerging artists to get involved.”
Hook says with over 10 years of the Wearable Arts show, the designs and creativity are vast; she remembers a wedding dress made of Barbie dolls painted white and dresses made with zip-ties; she noted some of the pieces come with different cultural perspectives or social commentary.
“It’s really a chance for people to take a message that’s near and dear to them and find a way to incorporate it into a brand new media or to take a material that they love working with and explore it in a whole new way,” said Hook.
She noted many artists in the show are returning ones. “It’s really fun, and it gets a little bit addictive doing wearable art.”
Juanita Jordan has participated in the Wearable Arts show eight times; she remembers wanting to participate after seeing it for the first time.
“There’s nothing quite like the feel of watching your piece in movement,” said Jordan.
She said the show inspires her as an artist and allows her to connect with other artists.
Jordan has been working on this year’s piece for over two years: It’s a dress made of pop can tabs and recycled material.
She has previously made dresses from books; she used garbage bags and barbed wire another year and then a steam-punk-themed piece another year.
Even as the centre’s executive director, Hook joins in the fun, creating a piece each year.
“I participated in it every single year because there’s so much camaraderie behind the scenes,” said Hook.
“Artists get to choose their models, so it’s a great chance for you to collaborate with friends or family members.
“The dressing room itself is such a creative explosion of ideas, and it’s really great to see the show live, but it’s even better to see it behind the scenes.”
Hook said the show typically has between 20 and 30 artists coming with their creations.
The show will be on October 28, and Hook says that people who have gone in the past 10 years can expect some changes this year.
She said announcements are coming soon, but “it’s going to come back a little bit bigger and a little bit stronger than anyone’s ever seen before.”
By Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Jul 20, 2023