ArtWear Fashion Week at Lincoln Center with Wylie Garcia

Fashion_1-asWhen someone is truly passionate about what they do, it becomes less of an activity and more of a lifestyle.

The epitome of this concept can be found this weekend at the Lincoln Center during the 2013 ArtWear Fashion Week.

This event deals with the works of art created by a handful of carefully selected artists from across the nation. However, this is no ordinary line of art work; everything that will be displayed is art you can wear.

ArtWear Fashion Week has happened every other year for nearly the past two decades. It is a celebration of wearable garments that have been created by artists who have integrated unique materials and methods into their pieces.

The art will be displayed on live models during the ArtWear Fashion Show this Friday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets for the show range from $50 to $65 and all proceeds are given back to the Lincoln Center’s Visual Art department.

Kiah Kristine, styled by Brian Guiducci, models a dress designed by Wylie Garcia by the UCA yesterday. This dress will be featured in the ArtWear runway show tonight at the Lincoln Center.
Kiah Kristine, styled by Brian Guiducci, models a dress designed by Wylie Garcia by the UCA yesterday. This dress will be featured in the ArtWear runway show tonight at the Lincoln Center.

Tickets will include an early bird shopping special for the sales gallery that opens after the show where garments designed by the featured artists can be purchased.

Jeanne Shoaff, the gallery coordinator for the Lincoln Center, described the event, “It’s astounding seeing all the different kinds of garments. The care and time that these artists put into their work is the complete opposite of what you’d find in a department store where things are mass-produced and mass-designed.”

For the remainder of ArtWear Fashion Week, which is Sept. 21 through Sept. 28, the sales gallery will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“It’s an ensemble of hats, jackets, skirts and purses all unique and designed by artists,” Shoaff said. “These garments are made for people who want to make a statement.”

If this event is something you are really interested in, you will have the opportunity to speak with one of the featured artists, Wylie Garcia.

Saturday, Sept. 21 from 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Wylie Garcia will be in the Founders Room of the Lincoln Center. Garcia will discuss and answer questions about her project, “The Dress that Makes the Woman.”

In 2011, Garcia took on a project in which she wore one dress every day for a month. Each day she would either add or take something from the dress, be it accessories, materials, etc.

She did this each month for a year and recorded her progress. By the end of the year, she had essentially made 365 different dresses.

“Her work is really interesting,” Shoaff said in regards to Garcia’s project. “These garments are not typical. Each one is like a journal of her life. It’s a very intimate experience.”

Garcia will talk to aspiring artists about everything she learned from this project.

“Each dress would take on its own personality after a month,” Garcia said. “(The project) was about integrating a ritual of art into my everyday life. It was basically a year-long diary.”

Garcia sees her project as a metaphor for the nature of women.

“We, women, are worried about having an established surface, but we are so much more complex on the inside,” Garcia said.  “I’m a mother, a wife, an artist and myself. It was about integrating everything into one person.”

Garcia has been a full-time artist for 10 years. She originally went to grad school to be a painter.

“Painting was fun, but one day my professor told me that I put all my attention in painting the garments on the figures in my paintings,” Garcia laughed.

“When I was growing up, I was always surrounded by dresses and fashion. It was a big part of my upbringing. It’s something I thought would be a blip on the screen, but I keep going back to it over and over again.”

For Garcia and the other featured artists ArtWear Fashion Week is not simply a chance to look at their work, but an opportunity to peek into their lives.

Entertainment writer Peyton Garcia can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com.