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October 4, 2013

Creative couture

Artists transform found materials into garments

Seashells and 700 Band-Aids as well as silk and spinnaker sails became veritable works of art on a fashion runway at the second Wearable Art II event held this past Sunday at Cruiseport Gloucester.

Like a fireworks show, many of the 90 looks strutted down the runway drew “oohs and ahhs” from the audience, as when Sage florists Gina Russo and Beth Genovese entered two outfits made entirely of flowers. Russo spent more than 60 hours creating one outfit with a skirt of birch bark and, literally, a floral top, in addition to a second floral dress.

Manchester’s Christine Gauthier-Kelly created a fashion statement that was out of this world. She transformed her interpretation of the galaxy as seen by a Hubble telescope image into a hand-painted silk cape.

This second event, held every two years, is organized by the Society for the Encouragement of the Arts (SeARTS) and this fall featured approximately 36 designers of runway looks accessories, of whom 26 are from Cape Ann. The event coincided with Boston Fashion Week.

Jacqueline Ganim-DeFalco, chairwoman of the Wearable Arts II committee, noted that this region has a long history of visual art in its many elements.

”Creativity in all forms is part of the DNA of Cape Ann. If you come here from elsewhere and you have somehow lost it, the atmosphere here helps you find it — that certainly happened to me,” said Ganim-DeFalco, who transforms sea glass into jewelry, hair adornments and much more.

Participating artists and designers came from as far away as New York City, and as close as downtown Gloucester.

“This event provides Cape Ann with its own focus on the excitement that happens when artists and designers apply their talent and imagination to fashion,” said Candace Wheeler, who served on the event committee.

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