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Wearable ART 10
Fashion artists converge at Dunedin Fine Arts Center
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Veronica Stewart designs hit the runway during Wearable ART 10 Aug. 23 at Dunedin Fine Art Center
DUNEDIN – For area hipsters and art aficionados, there is a certain thrill that comes when the calendar turns to August: Anticipation begins to grow for one of the area’s top runway events.

Wearable ART 10 will celebrate a decade as Tampa Bay’s premiere mash-up of fashion and art on Saturday, Aug. 23, at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, 1143 Michigan Blvd.

The pre-party will kick off at 7 p.m. The runway show, showcasing the innovative creations of local artists and edgy designers, will start at 8:30 p.m. Following the show, there also will be an after-party event, set, for 9:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 general admission, with reserved seating going for $40 or $75. Call 298-3322 or visit www.d­fac.o­rg.

It’s hard to believe that nine years ago the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s incredibly successful Wearable ART Fashion Show made its debut before its first sold-out crowd.

Now in its 10th year, this always-surprising event promises to continue to be the standard against which all other art/fashion shows are measured. Part of the reason the show continually remains fresh may be the influx of new talent in the producer’s chair. DFAC’s new development director, Natalie Root, steps up this year. Root has plans that span both Tampa Bay and the Caribbean Sea to bring some added dazzle to the 10th installation of this yearly crowd-pleaser. “Obviously, the 10th year is a milestone for any event,” said Root in a press release. “We wanted to look back at what had been successful over the first nine years, while also pushing forward to lay the groundwork for success in the future.”

Root started with DFAC in March. According to the center’s newsletter, she relocated from New Orleans, Louisiana, and brings 10 years of experience in fundraising. She has advised and directed campaigns, raising more than $100 million.

In looking back at the history of Wearable ART, previous successful shows have featured some inventive and unique designs – from balloon dresses to raw meat bikinis – as well as “alarming breasts” and a lollipop kilt. The combination of eye candy and innovation has resulted in sell-out after sell-out.

“We’re excited to be able to fly in Rogerio Martins from Brazil for this year’s show, said Root. “Rogerio has been a crowd favorite for years and now that the World Cup is over, he’s free to come and share some of that Latin sizzle with us again.”

Martins used raw meat as a body adornment at one of the Wearable ART shows. The show’s runway presentations also will showcase work by Mark Byrne, Melissa Dolce, Neva “The Diva” Durham, Alice Ferrulo, the Garden Fairies, Julian Hartzog, Johnny Hunt and Lina Teixeira. All of this is crowned by the incredible hair and make-up artistry of Salon GW and La Posh.

“We’ll also be showcasing a digital exhibition of photography entitled ‘I am Indonesian’ with images of the ‘JFC XII World Fashion Carnival’ in Indonesia by Veronica and John Stewart,” Root said. “Then, of course, there are Orlando’s Nova Rays hanging ten for the tenth year at the after-party. They are the southeast’s preeminent surf rock group and will have the party jumping.”

This year, DFAC adds locally prominent Models of Success, each of whom will be working with a designer to bring their work alive on the runway. This year’s models include Mallory Lykes Dimmitt, Alexandra Haddad, Mason Gehring, Isis Kling, Meaghan Maxwell, Chelsea Bree McMillan, Kitty Riggs, Jacqueline R. Ambrose Root, Cathy A. Sullivan and Casey Wilcox.

“We expect another sell-out and just an incredible show,” said Root. “As is always the case, the audience will bring their OWN fashion flair to the event.”
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