Artwear: The SOS 2024 Fashion Show

Crystal Ballroom • 55 Davis Square
Thursday, May 2, 2024 • Doors open 6 pm, show begins at 7 pm

The term Artwear refers to clothing and other wearables designed as conceptual or fine art. Artwear operates outside of the boundaries normally presented in fashion to favor an approach that prioritizes style and vision.

In past years, SOS has provided the public with a fashion show titled Beyond the Pattern to kick off open studios weekend. This show made it possible for textile artists to be included in open studios in a way that was more conducive to their art form than a studio opening or a gallery.

This year, the SOS fashion show will be held at the Crystal Ballroom in Davis Square on Thursday, May 2nd. The Crystal Ballroom is directly above the Somerville Theatre. Doors open at 6pm for cocktail hour with the show beginning at 7pm. The venue will have a full bar and runway seating. The event is free for the public to view original textile art by Somerville artists! 

2024 Participating Designers

Consuelo Perez

My creations are made using unusual household items and recycled materials to celebrate diversity, encourage unity, and promote positive change.

Let’s reflect on saving our planet, social justice, and friendship as we work together to educate and transform society.

DX2

DX2 is a clothing brand offering fashion-forward upcycled garments.  We offer non-gendered, inclusive-sized fashion that utilizes previously loved garments and textiles that reflect the unique personality of the wearer.

Deborah and Deneen are two best friends who love fashion, sewing, and thrifting.Recently in a move to be more sustainable we have switched our focus on RE-LOVING CLOTHING. 

Sustainability is the ability to provide for the needs of the current generation using available resources without negatively impacting the future generations.

With these goals in mind we decided to collect, find, save from the garbage as many awesome, fabrics, clothes, curtains, and accessories and re-make them into wearable art. 

Elsa Ramsay

Elsa is a mixed media costume and prop maker with a focus on immersive storytelling, upcycling textiles, multisensory experiences, hand sewn mending, and self expression.  All of her original art comes from the characters and stories within her mind and is created to be an immersive experience for both the wearer and the audience. Elsa stepped into the land of world building in 2019 when she created Orablu. Orablu is a retro futuristic planet that holds the merging of two cultures, the bustling metropolis of Central City and the quiet spiritual realm of Oranda. The characters and creatures are what make the planet come alive. In a perfect world Orablu would be a physically immersive experience to be visited by travelers from earth. Today Orablu sits comfortably in Elsa’s brain with an occasional leak into the real world. Her goal with the Somerville Artwear show is to exhibit a peek at some of the characters from Orablu with a focus on fashion.

With 10 years of experience in the competitive cosplay community Elsa does not hesitate to build outside of her knowledge range. Some of the props she has built from fictional media include a Queen Amidala headdress, historically inspired Japanese war fans, a cardboard lute, and Thor’s hammer. She believes that anything can be made into real life as long as one is determined. Besides pop culture, she is also heavily inspired by music. She considers pairing audio with interesting visuals is the most accessible way for people to experience immersive art. Having recently moved from Georgia, Elsa is new to the Somerville arts community and is excited to embrace the challenge of Artwear 2024. 

Hilary Scott

I create large and small sculptures in the studio behind the Somerville home I share with my wife.  Ranging from reserved to whimsical, my public commissions include Somerville’s 9/11 Memorial, while my theatrical/escape-room work includes giant robots, man eating plants and mechanical squids.  I work in a variety of materials, my guiding principle being to banish the mundane, delight my clients, and amuse my wife.  In addition to my sculptural work, my concert photography appears internationally in books, magazines, album covers, and online platforms. I’ve has been involved with Somerville Open Studios since its inception in 1999, most recently serving as president of the non-profit organization.

Jessamy Shay

Jessamy Shay Kilcollins is a textile artist, mender, and fashion designer interested in the intersection of functionality, sustainability, and personal expression. Utilizing second hand clothing and textiles, along with traditional handcraft processes like embroidery, applique and darning, she creates visibly mended and upcycled garments and jewelry that are simultaneously functional and fanciful. By infusing her reworked pieces with equal parts imagination and skill, her work upends the notion that secondhand clothing is “worth less” or that “new is better”.

According to the EPA, 85% of discarded textiles end up in a landfill or burned. An estimated 17 million tons of textiles were sent to landfills in 2018. The global fashion industry’s calamitous effects on the environment cannot be overstated, to say nothing of the human cost. Jessamy uses pre-existing materials in her work to denounce and disrupt this toxic system that espouses throwaway culture and views human labor as something to be exploited. By interacting thoughtfully and intentionally with each textile’s innate history, she honors the resources and labor that went into creating them in the first place

Jessamy is a graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and teaches creative mending and sewing in the Boston area. She co-owns High Energy Vintage with her partner in Somerville MA, where they live with two cats and way too many chairs in an old nut factory. See more of her work and learn about upcoming workshops at jessamyshay.com.

Jim Baab

Jim Baab (rhymes with cab) is an amateur photographer and maker passionate about food, geometry, the human figure, and pareidolia – how our minds interpret or misinterpret things. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia) Jim has participated in Somerville Open Studios, since 2013. His photography has been awarded, published and displayed in juried exhibitions around the globe. Jim’s experiments with print-on-demand fashion and accessories utilize repeating patterns of nudes, macro photography, and instagram images of the mundane. Recently, Jim has become obsessed with how A. I. (within the constraints of the evolving content policies of one “big name” text-to-image creator) can be prompted with “word salads” to create mesmerizing, erotic art (that can be used as patterns on fashion and wares) and, how A. I. interprets or misinterprets the structure of these prompts.

Lenni Armstrong

Bicyclists are climate heroes! I’m passionate about supporting sustainable, low carbon lifestyles. I make Hi-Vis SafeWear for bikers and pedestrians to keep them safe in the streets. Anyone in the streets need to be visible to cars no matter the time of day, and Hi-Vis SafeWear is designed to solve that problem (while also being fun to wear).

I live car-free and bicycling is my main form of transportation. Hi-Vis SafeWear design is a satisfying challenge because keeping myself safe gives me the confidence to ride my bike more often, especially at night and on rainy days. I like reflective and fluorescent materials because they don’t need batteries. All of my designs are made of upcycled clothing and glow brightly in the car headlights at night when you most need to be seen by cars. During the day the fluorescent colors catch the eyes of motorists. Pretty slick, I think! 

Blinking lights (LEDs) are highly attention-getting and pretty. However, reflective and fluorescent SafeWear provide a great back-up if your batteries run out!`

I grew up sewing and biking. I currently teach sewing and reflective design at The Hive at the Cambridge Public Library and the Artisans’ Asylum. My business is Safe n’ Stylin’ (SAFEnSTYLIN.com) where I offer workshops and one-of-a-kind Hi-Vis SafeWear.

Lexie Hofer Griffith

Lexie Hofer Griffith is a vintage focused, clown Couturier who works solely with vintage fabrics of the psychedelic persuasion. After much of her childhood was spent playing dress up in her mother’s vintage clothing, Lexie developed an undying love for the history of garments and the stories they tell. She also grew up as an odd size for most produced clothing wearing mostly pants that looked like she was waiting for the flood and tops with sleeves so short they looked as if she borrowed from a younger sibling’s closet. This pet peeve led her to be the self-taught sewing monster that she is today; making custom clothes for all body types and genders. The making of ready-to-wear eventually led to a fervor for avant garde looks, which she will present at the first Artwear fashion show for SOS. Come see the clown!

She also owns a 60’s and 70’s vintage clothing store at Bow Market (suite 36) called Lexie Butterfly Vintage (lexiebutterflyvintage.com)

Martha Friend

I’m an assemblage artist and for the last ten years have been building Sapphire City and Emerald City, installations made from glass, at my home on Highland Ave. I also built The Friendsmithsonian Tiny Museum in my front yard and 2 room size environments inside that involve dolls traveling intergalactically and setting up a home-base on a far away planet!
However, my first love in the arts has always been sewing original clothing from unusual  textiles, and this year’s collection for the Artwear Fashion Show is all made from vintage linens, tablecloths, and bedspreads. I treasure the beautiful lacework and embroidery of our grandmothers and am pleased to carry on these traditions by showcasing them in these transformed garments.

Megan Kilcoyne

As an artist, Megan Kilcoyne is constantly evolving through different forms of craft whether it be artistically or in scale. She pushes boundaries from the imagined  to the material and limits the distance between field and fashion. With more confidence comes more experimentation and a thoughtfulness in pattern making that is unique to Homme Repair. 

Homme Repair locally sources fabrics, antique textiles, and up-cycled materials. By utilizing natural materials like cotton, linen and wool, Kilcoyne hopes to restore a small corner of traditional craeft that has been lost to time. Influenced by the French Atelier, Homme Repair is handmade objects that are individual, unique, functional art.