Sunday, March 27, 2016



This April, the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) will showcase nontraditional, provocative, original fashion designs during Hoi Polloi: An Experimental Fashion Event and DONROSE, the 23rd Annual Benefit Fashion Show. These events feature newly designed clothing by student artists and designers to showcase their creative visions as they push the boundaries of fashion with fiber, textiles and mixed media.  


Hoi Polloi: An Experimental Fashion Event

WHEN: Saturday, April 2, 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.; doors open at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Lithuanian Hall, 851 Hollins St.
TICKETS: $7, students; $14, general public, available at the MICA Store (1200 W. Mount Royal Ave. and; no tickets will be sold at the door.

The 2016 Experimental Fashion Event is designed, directed and produced by the artists and designers from MICA’s Fiber Department's yearlong Multi-Media Event class. Together, they will collaboratively transform Baltimore’s Lithuanian Hall into a venue for innovative fashion, costume design, performance art and soft sculpture. This annual event features individually crafted bodies of garment-based work exploring the intersection of fashion and art.

‘Hoi Polloi’ comes from the Greek word πολλοί, meaning “the common people.” The Experimental Fashion Event artists and designers have come together in a single collaboration from diverse points of view, seeking to challenge the normalcy of fashion. Furthermore, Hoi Polloi: An Experimental Fashion Event collaboration features themes from darkness to ultimate joy surrounding the human experience. 

This fashion event that many in Baltimore flock to each year, represents a variety of concepts and skill sets, with work speaking to the performative nature of fashion and the overlapping of the runway, the stage and the theater of the streets. The evening will involve more than 300 people, including designers and their models and performers.

Designers: Caroline Creeden ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), Taylor Dunn ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), Jenelle Legge, Sarah Lo ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), Elizabeth Nguyen ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), Zach Snyder ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), Kat Zotti ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.), Arooj Qamar ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), and Tess Wypkema ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), and collaborators Lo Ashford ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.) and Stella Lee ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.).


DONROSE: Annual Benefit Fashion Show

WHEN: Friday, April 8, 9 p.m. (MICA Community Show) and Saturday, April 9, 8 p.m. (General Public Show)
Brown Center: Falvey Hall, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave.
TICKETS: $15, students with ID; $20, general public (MICA Community Show: $7, students with ID; $12, faculty and staff; $20, guests), will be available at the MICA Store (1200 W. Mount Royal Ave. and; limited tickets will be sold at the door.

For this year’s Annual Benefit Fashion Show, MICA student artists and designers considered societal labels such as gay or straight, male or female, black or white, and rich or poor—labels that are often imposed from birth. The fashion show creators note that it is often the case that external influences are imposed upon individuals, like an automatic response, without a gray scale.

DONROSE is about breaking norms. The world is a constantly evolving and changing place, and their goal is to demonstrate such notions in the fashion show. They want to appeal to all senses, traveling the middle path between black and white because it is that middle ground that people see all colors and possibilities. Through their artistry, student artists and designers reinforce that people should not be judged on outward appearances and, furthermore, fashion can help people make bold expressions about how they feel on the inside. DONROSE’s director and assistant director are London Zhang and Brandon Brooks, respectively.

Proceeds from the 23rd Annual Benefit Fashion Show help support students involved in diversity programming and scholarly pursuits through the Office of Diversity and Intercultural Development, which sponsors the show. The event is one of many ways MICA continues to provide comprehensive diversity programming that supports the students' academic and social needs.

Designers: Christina Hyrkas ’17 (Graphic Design B.F.A.), Briana Arrington ’17 (Illustration B.F.A.), Sam Rietenbach ’16 (General Fine Arts B.F.A.), Brit Kolich ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.), Sam White ’18 (Interdisciplinary Sculpture B.F.A.), Julia John ’17, ’18 (Fiber B.F.A., Teaching M.A.), Stevie Pniewski ’18 (Fiber B.F.A.), Nikki Hendricks ’17 (General Fine Arts B.F.A.), Kimmy Kim ’16 (Painting B.F.A.), Alison Baskerville ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.), Babs Weiss ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.), Hannah Jeremiah ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), Alisa Glenn ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.), Caroline Smouse ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.), Ashley Lian ’17 (Fiber B.F.A., Humanistic Studies B.F.A.), Sarah Lo ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.), and Cindy Perdomo ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.), and collaborators Robert Penn ’16, ’17 (Interdisciplinary Sculpture B.F.A., Teaching M.A.) and Antonius Bui ’16 (General Fine Arts B.F.A.), Carol Chu ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.) and Demetra Maheras ’17 (Fiber B.F.A.), and Chelsea Castro ’16 (Graphic Design B.F.A.) and Cassia Mullin ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.).

Information on select fashion lines:

For Annual Benefit Fashion Show, Robert Penn ’16 (Sculpture B.F.A.) and Antonius Bui ’16 (General Fine Arts B.F.A.) collaborated to debut their Real Fun collection, which explores themes of death, play and funeral through masks and adornments in both a serious and playful approach. Embellishments are used to enhance the wearer, but are also employed to hide secrets or conceal oneself. “Found in rituals, ceremonies and dances, [costumes and adornments] contribute to the long history of storytelling,” said the Penn and Bui. “Instead of approaching death with fear and sadness, we see it as transformative hope.” Real Fun is a construction of their ceremony, where each model is decorated in sculptural masks and cut-paper flora to narrate the bodily vessel.

Zach Snyder ’16 (Fiber B.F.A.) is influenced by costume in films and television shows, specifically medieval dress. For the Experimental Fashion Event, he premieres Lost Visage, a costume line interweaving beading, digital print, pattern design, fabric, draping and knitting materials and techniques. The collection is “representative of what it means to be free of our personal identity and to transform into something otherworldly,” Snyder said. His clothing creates an absence of existing restraints or commitments, taking the wearer to a different realm where he or she is unobstructed to behave and interact in new ways. Furthermore, with adorned masks, the wearer can be concealed while still engaging with his or her surroundings. “The clothes themselves become a new skin allowing the body to evolve into something more powerful and protective, creating a tension among the viewers of feeling fear and admiration at the same time,” the designer added.  

Nikki Hendricks’ ’17 (General Fine Arts B.F.A.) interests in the Afro-futurism genre and Yoruba Orisha (or deity of love) Oshun birthed her collection, La Marine de l’Oshun. “In Yoruba religion, it is believed that when the spirit of the Oshun possess you, she brings confidence, joy, exuberance and love,” Hendricks said. “Her possessions are also said to band together fight injustices against humanity.” For the Annual Benefit Fashion Show, her clothing will explore the physical manifestation of what the “goddess of water’s” navy would look like. Hendricks uses the aesthetic of armor to reinforce each soldier’s sense of beauty and strength that exist on a spiritual level.

For updates on MICA’s fashion events, visit For high-resolutions images, press passes or interview requests, please call the Division of Strategic Communications at 410.225.2300.