Artists made the runway their canvas at Laguna Beach’s Festival of Arts this past Saturday, Aug. 18, competing to create the most imaginative and unique designs using reclaimed, reused or recycled materials.
A three-panel judge chose the top looks in four categories and over 1,500 Festival visitors cast their votes for “People’s Choice Award.”
“Most Exciting Ensemble” was awarded to artists Brittany Ryan and Elizabeth McGhee for their Victorian ensemble made primarily of communication media (newspapers, telephone pieces, cassette tape) and titled “Miss Communication.”
Jeweler Adam Neeley won “Most Innovative Use of Materials” for his use of over 1,000 corn husks in his Frida Kahlo inspired dress.
Annette Wimmer created and modeled her own look, a tailored two piece suit of packaging supplies and aluminum foil, which received the award “Most Wearable to Next Year’s FOA Exhibit Opening Night Party.”
Painter W. Bradley Elsberry won “Most Creative Concept” with the show’s closing look entitled “Wrapping it Up” utilizing packaging and wrapping material. Initially hidden inside a war-themed exterior, in a dramatic reveal model Erika Baldwin emerged from the costume in a white dress made almost exclusively from paper. Elsberry’s runway also impressed the crowd and took home the highly coveted “People’s Choice Award.”
Entries from artists Luciano Bortone, Dagmar Chaplin, Michelle Lance, Rick Graves, Bruce Burr, Jon Seeman and John Tolle wowed the judges and crowd alike with their unique styling and creative use of materials.
The judges included Jeannie Mai, host of the Style Channel’s popular fashion makeover show “How Do I Look?,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s costume and textile curator Kaye Spilker, and Macy’s Sheri Holley. Lisa M. Berman, proprietor of Sculpture to Wear Gallery, stepped in to host the event.