Wearable art meets creative designs

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 - 23:00
Local fashion show marks third year
Natalie Stark modeled a paint-ball inspired dress in the 2013 Simply Creative Couture Fashion Show. This year, Stark is assisting with design and decoration of the show’s runway, back drop and audience seating.

The fashion scene hits Eagle River Saturday night as the creativity of local designers and the strutting of local models hits the catwalk erected inside Community Covenant Church at 7 p.m.

This year features the third annual Simply Creative Couture Fashion. It is the brainchild of Eagle River photographer Jessica Jennings. Her goal is allow locals to showcase their creativity and support grassroots fundraising efforts for local charities.

“I am passionate about giving back to our community and I desire to offer opportunity for people of all ages to have the chance to show off their creativity through unique design,” Jennings explained.

Last year, the show featured dresses made from recycled materials. Jennings dress was made from thousands of soda can tabs. This year, the theme is wearable art.

“I chose wearable art this year because it’s very broad for a designer. I want to pull uniqueness and extreme creativity from a designer and hair/makeup artist to show things that are just simply creative,” she said.

While Jennings and the show designers aren’t revealing too much about this year’s designs ahead of time, they do hint at some of the themes: One dress is made of color-soaked yarn attached to balloons and another features a stained glass look.

The latter dress is designed by Reagan Manolas from Chugiak, who is a part-time campus coordinator for the national faith-based organization Youth for Christ. On a local basis, Manolas works with two other YFC employees to facilitate student-led clubs in local junior and high schools. This year, YFC is the target recipient of proceeds from the fashion show.

Last year when the Pregnancy Resource Center received funding from the 2013 show, Manolas designed a paintball-inspired dress and sponsored Natalie Stark as a model representing the Fear Not Paintball club and business Manolas and her husband, TJ Manolas, run during the summer months.

Manolas was hooked on the creative aspect of the show and soon learned that Jennings had a heart-rending connection to YFC. The paternal grandmother of Jennings’ boys had attended a YFC rally in his youth and responded to the call for salvation. It was a new volunteer just getting started in the ministry by the name of Billy Graham that prayed with the man that later became Jennings’ father-in-law. Jennings attended the Anchorage YFC banquet in spring 2013 and decided that the 2014 fashion show would benefit the organization.

For Manolas, designing just fits in with her naturally artistic family. Her mother is somewhat infamous for her creative crafts featured at vacation Bible school programs locally.

“I come from a creative family and I thought, oh, wearable art. That is neat concept. I knew I wanted to do something related to stained glass and started thinking how that could be worn safely,” she laughs.

With three young boys all under the age of four, Manolas opted to borrow some inspiration from elementary-school art projects. The dress features the stained glass window under wax paper mode. Head lamps under the dress will serve as illumination. A week ago, she chuckled as she said, “It is almost done.”

Tickets for the event are available online at www.eventbrite.com/e/couture-fashion-show-tickets-11042838427.

A love offering will be taken to further support Youth for Christ.

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