Tuesday, April 3, 2012



At Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), “fashion” is not limited to what people wear. It is instead an exploration of how fiber and textiles can be used as means of artistic expression and societal engagement. Each spring, MICA goes beyond a typical fashion week to showcase an elevated vision of how design can impact the world. Two headlining events, Transcend, the Annual Benefit Fashion Show, and Milquetoast, an Experimental Fashion Event, will give MICA students the ability to showcase their abilities to create inventive clothing that inspires thought and action. These two distinct shows—both featuring original, purposeful designs—aim to usher in a new view of fashion and offer a fresh perspective on design, proving once again that Baltimore is a center of fashion and design innovation.

Transcend: Annual Benefit Fashion Show
WHEN: Friday, April 13, 9PM (MICA Community Show and Media Preview) and Saturday, April 14, 8 PM (General Public Show)
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
TICKETS: $15 Students, $20 General Public (MICA Community Show: $7 Students; $12 Faculty and Staff), available at the MICA Bookstore, 1200 W. Mount Royal Ave. and store.mica.edu; limited tickets will be sold at the door

The 19th Annual Benefit Fashion show, Transcend, is a runway show that will explore the outward manifestation of the unconscious mind. The designers were asked to go beyond the expected and Transcend their normal, accepted thought processes and reveal a hidden layer of themselves through their garment making. Transcend allows audience members to walk behind the synaptic workings of their brains and visually see the manifestations of their inner thoughts and aspirations. People use garments as a means of expressing themselves, choosing to conceal or reveal. Whether this is through the purchase of clothes or breaking the rules of construction, people identify with garments as delicate illustrations that mirror their internal impulses. Through manipulation, clothing becomes the body itself and reveals aspects of a persona. Transcend represents a place that is metaphysical, emotional and spiritual. These delicate domains manifest in the realm of fashion; they address solutions, challenge the norms and provide a visual model of unceasing impact.

After the show, audience members are invited to mix and mingle with the designers and view an exhibition of fashion-inspired photography, illustration and fiber arts in the lobby of Falvey Hall. Fashion pictorials of the students’ designs captured by celebrity photographer Derek Blanks ’00 will be part of the exhibition. The fashion show is sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development.

Designers: Samantha Bloom, Evyn Fong and Kurina Sohn, Michelle Kim, Allina Liu, Hayley Martell, Jessica Emily Marx and Alexz Giacobbe, Jordan Matthews, Leanna Pascual, Stephanie Santos, Amelia Stinnette and Erik Clark, and Olivia Taliaferro

Milquetoast: Experimental Fashion Event
WHEN: Saturday, April 21, 6 and 9 PM
2640 (St. John’s Church), 2640 Saint Paul St.
TICKETS: $5, available at the MICA Bookstore, 1200 W. Mount Royal Ave. and store.mica.edu; limited tickets will be sold at the door for $10

At the annual Experimental Fashion Event, artists and designers from the Fiber Department’s Multi Media Event class transform 2640 (St. John’s Church) into a venue for innovative fashion and costume design by pushing the boundaries of fashion and art through live performances and projected video. A capstone for the Experimental Fashion Concentration, the class enrolls students from various departments, including interdisciplinary sculpture, photography and illustration. Over the course of eight months, students design and craft their own body of work based on the garment, recruit their own models and performers, select music and choreograph their show. At the same time, the students work collaboratively to produce and promote the event, choosing the site, name and graphic identity. Students’ designs tap into the power of clothing as a semiotic device, communicating constantly shifting ideas and beliefs about the body, social relationships and the spirit of the times. Their work speaks to the performative nature of fashion and the overlaps between the runway, the stage and the theater of the streets. This year, the name Milquetoast (meaning a timid person) was chosen as a counterpoint to the lively event and a tip of the hat to the political climate in this presidential election year. The evening will involve more than 150 people, from designers and their models to participating performers, including roving costumed characters. Music and sound will be provided by DJ J-No and other local musicians.

Designers: Antonina Clarke, Thea Elisabeth Curley, Naomi Davidoff, Natalie Ebaugh, Giovanni Flores, Morgan Frailey, Alexz Giacobbe, Maya Lisa Akabane Graffagna, Kelsey LaSeur, Jessica Emily Marx, Georgia Caroline Milton, Michela Reina, Stephanie Marie Santos, Anna Strain, Jacqueline Wadowsky and Kate Weintraub; graphic design assistance provided by Alex Dougherty

Additional Programming

The Annual Benefit Fashion Show and Experimental Fashion Event will be bookended by several events that showcase the talents of MICA students and alumni, as well as bring prominent fashion figures to the College.

Alumni Fashion Panel
WHEN: Friday, March 30, 6–7:30 PM
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.

MICA will welcome several fashion-forward panelists back to the College to speak about their experiences in the industry. This free event is sponsored by The Joseph Meyerhoff Center for Career Development.

Lecture: Gary Graham
WHEN: Tuesday, April 3, 11:30 AM
Brown Center: Room 320, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.

New York-based fashion designer Gary Graham’s background in costume and textile design is evident season after season. His collections are rich with casual luxury and a sense of history. Signature prints and jacquards are designed to incorporate visual clues that articulate the underlying themes of each collection. Inspirations for past collections have included fresh reinterpretations of Dust Bowl-era portraits or antique engravings of botanical specimens. His approach is reflected in his trademark fitted jackets, fluid dresses and knits—all rendered in a rich palette with varied textures, achieved through the meticulous washing and dyeing processes that are associated with his name. Graham’s collections are represented in specialty boutiques and department stores worldwide. He was named a finalist in the 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America/Vogue Fashion Fund. His talk is part of the Fiber Department’s Mixed Media Series.

Robot Fest
WHEN: Saturday, April 14–Sunday, April 15
National Electronics Museum, 1745 W. Nursery Rd., Linthicum Heights, Md.

Interactive art and smart fabric projects from students enrolled in smart textiles design courses, offered jointly with The Johns Hopkins University, will be on display at this wearable technology fashion show at the National Electronics Museum (near Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport). Some designs will just be fun to wear while others may have practical applications in the science of assistive technologies. For visitor information, visit robotfest.com.

USA Science & Engineering Festival
WHEN: Saturday, April 28–Sunday, April 29
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place, NW, Washington, D.C.

Students from the Wash and Wear and Wearable Technology classes, offered jointly with The Johns Hopkins University, will hold a fashion show that incorporates fashion design, art and technology at the USA Science & Engineering Festival, a science exposition in Washington, D.C. Every model will not only be wearing an outfit that makes a “fashion statement,” but also uses engineering technology, such as microcomputers, LEDs, sensors, motors and conductive thread. For visitor information, visit usasciencefestival.org.

Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 48 states and 54 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. Redefining art and design education, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.

Image captions (left to right): Jessica Emily Marx and Alexz Giacobbe will showcase their collection, Mama Said, in both Transcend and Milquetoast (photo by Derek Blanks ’00); Allina Liu’s line, Birdie, will hit the runway in Transcend (photo by Derek Blanks ’00); Cirque d’Armoire by Naomi Davidoff will be featured in I. According to the artist, the line illuminates the lives of forgotten clothing, toys and dolls, offering a glimpse into the mysterious world associated with lost and cherished items from our wardrobes; Design by Jacqueline Wadowsky for Milquetoast (Photo by Anna Friemoth ’12). Wadowsky’s work is inspired by stories of obsessed explorers and the objects of their quest. Her theatrical costumes attempt to capture these mythic relationships.